Saft Selected to Provide Energy Storage for Southeastern Pennsylvania

Saft lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery technology will supply megawatt level energy storage for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) Recycled Energy and Optimization Project. Saft was selected by Viridity Energy to design, manufacture and commission the battery, which will also be one of the first dual purpose trackside Energy Storage Systems (ESS) in the United States.

The Energy Optimization project is designed to capture energy from rail cars through a regenerative braking process and then utilize the energy for accelerating trains, and to generate revenue through demand-side participation in power markets. A strong pilot could lead to potential deployment at up to 32 SEPTA substations.

Saft will provide one Intensium Max20 Li-ion megawatt energy storage system to capture train braking energy and then discharge it back to the third rail (power rail) to power trains leaving the station. The system will provide regenerative braking charge acceptance for SEPTA trains and power discharge back to the station to support rail traffic while simultaneously participating in the PJM Interconnection market for frequency regulation. As a fully integrated, containerized Li-ion solution, the Saft system will provide efficiency of greater than 95 percent and maximize system availability, as well as help to manage power flows.

Envitech Energy, a leader in providing the transit industry with new alternative energy storage traction solutions, was selected as the system integrator and will deploy its ENVISTORE System. The system controls the energy exchange between the network and Saft’s ESS, recuperating the braking energy from the trains, storing it in the ESS and releasing it to the network upon command. The system will also assure line receptivity during braking and voltage regulation to improve the performance of the system.

"Saft is excited to be a part of SEPTA’s recycled energy project, and for its potential to be deployed on a larger scale following a successful demonstration period," said Blake Frye, vice president of sales, Energy Storage for Saft North America. "Through this project, Saft is supplying the first dual purpose trackside energy storage system in North America from our dedicated Jacksonville, Fla. facility."

"We selected Saft’s energy storage technology because of its proven performance and ability to meet the custom specifications of our energy management system," said Audrey Zibelman, president and CEO of Viridity Energy. "We needed a smart system that would easily integrate with our VPower™ software optimization system – Saft’s Intensium battery met all our criteria."

"We are pleased to be working with Viridity, Saft and other partners on this exciting energy storage project," said Andrew Gillespie, SEPTA’s chief engineering officer for power. "We can’t wait to see how Saft’s experience with onboard train applications and trackside power management will benefit the project."

The pilot project is targeted for commissioning by the end of 2011. Successful completion of the SEPTA project will demonstrate that energy storage can satisfy multiple value streams by accepting regenerative energy from train braking while simultaneously providing a revenue source by participating in the PJM frequency regulation marketplace.

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 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 new applications in clean vehicles and energy storage systems. With approximately 4,000 employees worldwide, Saft is present in 19 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.