Saft Partners With Apollo Solar on US DOE ‘Solar Energy Grid Integration Systems’ (SEGIS) Project

Saft, world leader in the design, development and manufacture of high-end batteries for industry and defence, is supplying a state-of-the-art lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery system to provide energy storage for one of the ‘Solar Energy Grid Integration Systems’ (SEGIS) projects funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE).

Saft is working in collaboration with Apollo Solar, a company specializing in the design and manufacture of power electronics for solar energy systems, which has just been awarded a contract for the second design phase of SEGIS to deliver a working prototype of a less expensive, more efficient Smart Grid inverter.

The objective of the SEGIS program, managed by Sandia National Laboratories, is to develop high performance products that will allow photovoltaics to become a more integral part of household and commercial Smart-Energy systems.

Apollo Solar has been selected by the DOE to design and develop a cost competitive and more efficient Smart Grid inverter to enhance the value of solar electric systems to home and business users. The innovative design will incorporate energy storage and two-way communications between solar electrical systems and utilities.

The role of the Saft Li-ion battery system, which will be sized at around 10 kWh, will be to provide efficient energy storage that will enable the solar energy to be effectively ‘time shifted’ to make it available for home consumption during periods of peak demand, or for injection into the grid when needed either for support or when it will generate the most economic value.

Saft is already demonstrating this approach in SOL-ION, a Franco-German project dedicated to the development of a new concept in energy conversion and storage for grid connected photovoltaic (PV) systems in Europe.

"The SEGIS program aims to maximise the value of distributed solar electric generation, offer greater control of electricity consumption and its cost and to anticipate the emergence of future smart grids," says John Pfeifer, President and CEO of Apollo Solar. "The inclusion of Li-ion energy storage and its capability for time-shifting was therefore a key success factor in our project proposal."

This contract means that the partnership is well-positioned to progress to the next phase of SEGIS, which will focus on the field demonstration, deployment, and commercialization of the products being developed.

Saft selected for DOE funding for Li-ion battery factory of the future

Saft will receive $95.5m grant from US department of Energy subject to successful contract negotiation. Saft, world leader in the design, development and manufacture of high-end batteries for industry and defence, announces that it has been selected to receive a
grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The funding is for a high-volume manufacturing plant to build advanced lithium-ion cells and batteries for military hybrid vehicles, aviation, smart grid support, broadband backup power and energy storage for renewable energy.

The plant is planned for Jacksonville, Florida and should create an estimated 800 jobs over the next three years. The company is also working with the economic development agencies of the State of Florida and the city of Jacksonville to finalise a package of additional support measures available, such as incentive programmes for capital investment and job creation.

Thomas Alcide, President of Saft America, Inc. said “This investment in America will allow Saft to build a state of the art factory for lithium ion batteries which will bring high technology jobs to Jacksonville rapidly and make us competitive on the world markets.”

Subject to successful negotiation of contracts with the DOE, the State of Florida and the city of Jacksonville, Saft will begin investment in the new plant immediately. Saft’s state of the art manufacturing facility will ensure that competitive battery solutions will be imminently available to the U.S. and world markets from this Jacksonville, Florida facility.

“I am very pleased with today’s award announcement” declared John Searle, Saft’s CEO, “We see an increasing demand for our advanced lithium-ion technology in the United States and elsewhere in the coming years, and it is important for us to have a cost competitive, domestic manufacturing base for that technology in addition to our existing long-established battery facilities which have been serving the US defence and industrial markets for over 40 years”.

About Saft

Saft (Euronext: Saft) is a world specialist in the design and manufacture of high-tech batteries for industry. Saft batteries are used in high performance applications, such as industrial infrastructure and processes, transportation, space and defence. Saft is the world’s leading manufacturer of nickel-cadmium batteries for industrial applications and of primary lithium batteries for a wide range of end markets. The group is also the European leader for specialised advanced technologies for the defence and space industries. With approximately 4,000 employees worldwide, Saft is present in 18 countries. Its 15 manufacturing sites and extensive sales network enable the group to serve its customers worldwide. Saft is listed in the SBF 120 index on the Paris Stock Market.

For more information, visit Saft at

About Apollo Solar

Apollo Solar provides premium solar photovoltaic power electronics in a full line of inverters, charge controllers, and communications modules that integrate into electric power systems for fail-safe installation and use. With more than 40 years of experience in the design and manufacture of power systems for numerous industrial Fortune 500 clients, NASA, and the US military, Apollo Solar brings to the market products that feature optimal solar energy harvest and web-based communications capabilities which increase performance, enhance reliability, and reduce overall system costs. Learn more at