EnerDel Enters Utility Energy Storage Market

Partnership with Smart Grid Leader Will Smooth Integration of Renewable Resources in Pacific Northwest. 

Advanced lithium-ion battery maker EnerDel will enter the utility-scale energy storage market, supplying batteries for a major new smart grid program announced by the US Department of Energy.

EnerDel will build the batteries for five one-megawatt power systems that will be used by Portland General Electric (PGE) – a pioneer in smart grid technology deployment — to help manage peak demand and smooth the variations in power from renewable sources like wind power and solar energy.

"Energy storage is a key component of the smart grid, as well as a crucial tool for enhancing both the reliability and the availability of renewable but often intermittent energy sources like wind energy and solar," said Cyrus Ashtiani, Chief Technology Officer at EnerDel. "We expect this sector to be a major growth area for the battery industry. This program is a breakthrough opportunity for EnerDel to prove the capabilities of our systems in partnership with one of the most innovative electric utilities in the country."

Each of the five EnerDel battery systems will store enough energy to power roughly 400 average American homes simultaneously for up to an hour at a time utilizing the same core chemistry as the EnerDel batteries designed for the emerging new generation of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The new systems will be used in concert with a variety of both hardware and software solutions to improve system reliability during peak demand loads.

The PGE project will be built in Salem, OR, where it will serve both residential and commercial customers. Equipment will be installed at 15 sites over the next two years, after which developers will spend two to three years testing system performance under wide variety of geographic and meteorological conditions.

It is one of 16 announced by DOE, which is providing half the $178 million funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the federal stimulus package enacted in February. The balance will come from utilities and other participants. Overall, the Northwest regional program will serve up to 60,000 utility customers in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.

EnerDel is part of Ener1, Inc. (HEV). Based in Indianapolis, IN, the company has one of the most advanced lithium-ion battery manufacturing facilities in the world, and the only one of its kind in the United States. 

Ener1, Inc. develops and manufactures compact, high performance lithium-ion batteries to power the next generation of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric vehicles. The publicly traded company (NASDAQ: HEV) is led by an experienced team of engineers and energy system experts at its EnerDel subsidiary located in Indiana. In addition to the automobile market, applications for Ener1 lithium-ion battery technology include the military, grid storage and other growing markets. Ener1 also develops commercial fuel cell products through its EnerFuel subsidiary and nanotechnology-based materials and manufacturing processes for batteries and other applications through its NanoEner subsidiary.