EnerDel to Set Up Residential Smart Grid

After back in December Japanese trading giant ITOCHU announced an investment of $20 million in battery manufacturer Ener1, the latter and its subsidiary, EnerDel, announced plans to create an advanced battery systems for a residential smart grid energy storage project.

The grid will be installed in a major apartment building near Tokyo, with the support of ITOCHU, marking the second such endeavor from Ener1, after last month's deal with Mazda for the creation of a similar system.

"These are the first projects anywhere in the world to bring all the critical elements of a smart, sustainable network that connects renewable energy and transportation in the places where people live and work," Naoki Ota, Chief Operating Officer for EnerDel said.

"It will also demonstrate that EnerDel's lithium-ion battery systems are equally capable, whether it is in a car or a stationary grid application. Our longstanding partnership with ITOCHU has provided the means to set another exciting industry precedent."

The building in which the system will be installed will receive its first tenants in 2011. By then, ITOCHU plans to introduce the 'secondary use' system to twenty percent of its new apartment buildings.

A secondary use implies a battery that has been redeployed from its primary application, normally an electric vehicle, with significant storage capacity remaining. The residual life in that battery can then be sold into a secondary market application, such as community or residential grid storage.

"We are pushing hard to drive pioneering initiatives like this to develop a secondary market for automotive grade lithium-ion batteries. I believe this secondary market will be a key enabler to reducing battery costs for automotive buyers and accelerating the growth of the market for electric powered vehicles," Naoki Ota added.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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