China could be the largest market for grid energy storage technology, and now, according to battery maker BYD and China’s State Grid utility, the country’s potentially got the world’s largest battery energy storage station in Zhangbei, Hebei Province. See photo above of the building with rows (bigger than a football field) of BYD’s Iron-Phosphate batteries that make up the 36 MW-hours of energy storage along with what looks like rooftop solar panels.
A lot of companies have been trying to break into China’s grid energy storage market including lithium ion battery maker A123 Systems , flow battery marker ZBB Energy, and even U.S. power producer Duke Energy. China is expected to embrace grid energy storage, as a way to more reliably install the 100 GW of variable clean power that the country wants.
U.S. power company AES has a battery grid project that rivals China’s State Grid and AES has built a 32 MW capacity lithium-ion storage project, working with grid operator PJM, in West Virginia. AES also has a 12 MW lithium-ion battery grid storage project in Chile, which was the largest of its kind when that was built, and AES also has a 40 MW lithium-ion battery project in the pipeline in Texas, which could be the biggest when that is built.