Saft Selected by SOLON to Supply Li-ion Battery for Arizona Energy Storage Solutions Project

Saft, a world leader in the design and manufacture of high-tech batteries for industry, was chosen by SOLON Corporation, a leading provider of utility-scale and commercial photovoltaic (PV) system solutions to the North American market, to provide a Li-ion battery for their Energy Storage Management Research and Testing (SMRT) site. The design and construction of the site will be managed by SOLON, in conjunction with Tucson Electric Power (TEP) and the Arizona Research Institute for Solar Energy (AzRISE) at the University of Arizona.

The project is a collaborative testing ground researching both the reliability and applicability of integrating various energy storage technologies, partnered with PV systems, on the grid. Ultimately, the goal is to provide utilities with greater control of their respective renewable portfolios.

Saft’s state-of-the-art Li-ion battery will provide various grid-support services, including reducing renewable output power volatility, optimizing renewable power performance and VAR support, among other functions. Deliveries for the 2 year project are set to begin end of 2011.

“Saft is delighted to play a role in such a crucial project,” said Blake Frye, Vice President of Sales, Energy Storage for Saft North America. “Reliance on solar, wind and other renewable resources is on the rise, making this is a fundamental opportunity to assess Saft’s Li-ion technology and its capabilities. Saft’s advanced technology will be a vital part of this initiative.”

Located at the University of Arizona’s Science and Technology Park in Tucson, the SMRT site will be attached to a 1.6 megawatt solar plant developed by SOLON. Saft’s battery will work in conjunction with SMA America’s utility-grade power management solution, which is based on its Sunny Central and Sunny Island solar inverter technology.

“Storage for renewable energy will be essential for utilities, as they increase the penetration of clean energy generation into the utilities’ grids,” said William Richardson, Director of Research & Development for SOLON Corporation. “By testing different types of storage methods and technologies such as lithium-ion batteries under various environmental conditions, our intelligence will provide utilities with precise guidance on the correct storage solution for them, as well as an integrated PV system.”

Saft (Euronext: Saft) is a world leader in the design and manufacture of advanced technology batteries for industry. The Group is the world’s leading manufacturer of nickel batteries and primary lithium batteries for the industrial infrastructure and processes, transportation, civil and military electronics’ markets. Saft is the world leader in space and defence batteries with its Li-ion technologies which are also being deployed in the energy storage, transportation and telecommunication markets. Saft’s 4,000 employees present in 19 countries, its 16 manufacturing sites and extensive sales network all contribute to accelerating the Group’s growth for the future.