Saft Lithium-ion Battery Technology Selected to Provide Renewable Energy Storage for Sacramento Municipal Utility

This year, SMUD was awarded $4.3 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to conduct a two-year pilot project to examine the value of distributed PV coupled with energy storage in 15 homes and three sites on SMUD’s distribution system within the community.

The project will allow assessment of the PV system, energy storage capability and determine how well the storage systems perform during periods of peak demand. Through this pilot, SMUD will gain important insights about the technical and economic feasibility of using distributed storage to enable higher penetrations of PV within its service territory.

"We are very excited to be a part of this PV storage pilot project and potential to be deployed on a larger scale within SMUD’s service territory," said Blake Frye, VP sales, Energy Storage for Saft North America. "Saft is committed to supporting SMUD’s renewable energy programs to conserve energy, protect the environment and provide reliable and affordable service to its customers."

Li-ion battery system

The role of the battery system is to provide efficient energy storage so solar power can be time shifted to support SMUD’s "super-peak" from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., particularly when PV output drops off after 5 p.m. Li-ion is the only technology that meets the project’s need for 20-year battery life in a range of demanding environmental conditions.

Saft’s high energy Li-ion battery technology will be integrated into a 5 kW renewable energy storage device, made by Silent Power, to store the excess energy generated by a homeowner’s solar power installation. Composed of compact maintenance-free modules the battery provides 9 kWh in a robust industrial design.

The modular battery design offers a number of features important to SMUD’s pilot program, including excellent cycling capability, a long calendar life and an intelligent self-diagnostic platform. It offers high energy density, millisecond-level response time and high power capability – both in charge and discharge. Additionally, Saft’s Li-ion technology provides precise information on the battery’s state-of-charge (SOC), which is a vital function in a dynamically operating energy storage system.

The $5.9 million project is leveraging SMUD’s SolarSmart Homes(SM)Â program, which is a key element of the Anatolia III Community. The SolarSmart Homes(SM)Â program seeks to partner with new home developers to provide new home owners energy-efficient homes equipped with rooftop PV systems. Other partner s in the storage pilot project include GridPoint, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Navigant Consulting, Silent Power, SunPower and VPT Energy Systems.

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, electric vehicles, space and defense. Saft is the world’s leading manufacturer of nickel batteries for industrial applications and of primary lithium batteries for a wide range of end markets.

The group is also the European leader for specialized advanced technologies for the defense and space industries and world leader in lithium-ion satellite batteries. Saft is also delivering its lithium-ion technology to the new applications in electric cars and renewable energy storage (solar and wind energy). 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.