The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has acquired stakes in an energy storage project in the US state of Ohio.TEPCO has taken a 50% interest in Battery Utility of Ohio LLC (BUO) from Colorado-based Renewable Energy Systems Americas. Renewable Energy Systems (RES) will own the remaining 50% in shares.
The energy storage project provides frequency regulation services to the PJM regional wholesale energy market which supplies electricity to consumers in 13 US states and the District of Columbia.
The energy storage system comprises batteries manufactured by BYD America and control software developed by RES.
TEPCO expects to use the knowledge and technological expertise it gains through this relationship to provide trading and balancing resources to the newly-deregulated electricity distribution market in Japan by 2020.
Shinichiro Kengaku, Managing Executive Officer at TEPCO, commented: "We are pleased to be partnering with RES, and this is essential for TEPCO to accelerate the transformation of the energy industry and the evolution of its businesses with advanced and environmentally friendly technology.
"TEPCO looks forward to creating additional innovative business opportunities overseas."
To date, the utility has 34 subsidiaries and 32 affiliates in 8 countries.
Graham Reid, RES CEO, Americas, added: "Battery storage facilities, similar to the BUO project, provide fast-response frequency regulation service to help electric grid operators manage the quick reconciliation between load and generation across the grid.
"Energy storage, as well as renewable energy projects, continue to lead us to a future where everyone has access to affordable low-carbon energy."
Energy storage pilots
Meanwhile, two California-based start-ups Stem and Sunverge have been awarded contracts with TEPCO for the development and management of distributed energy storage systems.
The projects will be implemented as pilots.
Stem will manage 750KWh of energy storage capacity for three commercial and industrial facilities.
Sunverge is deploying 19,6KWh battery inverter units for commercial and industrial customers.
The pilots are part of efforts by TEPCO to explore business cases related to distributed renewables as the company develops a framework to reduce its reliance of nuclear and fossil fueled energy generation.