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Sumitomo Corporation, headquartered in Chuo-ku, Tokyo, has developed and installed the world’s first large-scale power storage system

which utilizes used batteries collected from electric vehicles (EV). This commercial scale storage system, built on Yume-shima Island, Osaka, began operation last month.

Over the next three years, the system will measure the smoothing effect of energy output fluctuation from the nearby “Hikari-no-mori,” solar farm, and will aim to establish large-scale power storage technology by safely and effectively utilizing the huge quantities of discarded used EV batteries which will become available in the future. This project was selected as a model project for “verification of the battery storage control to promote renewable energy” for the fiscal year 2013 by the Ministry of the Environment of Japan.

Sumitomo Corporation created the joint venture company, “4R Energy Corporation,” in collaboration with Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. in September 2010, to address the secondary use of EV lithium-ion batteries. The used EV batteries that will be recycled into this large-scale storage system have been recovered and have gone through thorough inspection and maintenance at 4R, to confirm safety and performance. This prototype system (600kW/400kWh) consists of 16 used EV batteries.

Published in the March 2014 Edition of American Recycler News