A123 Systems, NSTAR Partner on Grid Energy Storage Project
Waltham, MA-headquartered lithium-ion battery manufacturer A123 Systems, which has operations in Michigan, announced today that it is kicking off a pilot project with Boston-based NSTAR to study the benefits of employing the A123’s grid battery technology in a suburban electric grid. The system, NSTAR’s first battery energy storage project, is expected to be up and running in 2012 at a substation in Medway, MA.
Andy Chu, A123’s vice president of marketing and communications, says his company’s grid battery system is designed to provide area regulation services, which address the momentary differences between electric power supply and demand. Fossil fuel-fired generators are the industry standard, but Chu says A123’s batteries can provide the same storage capabilities much more efficiently.
Though A123 Systems is well known for supplying products to auto makers for their electric vehicle lines, Chu says the project with NSTAR is far from the company’s first grid-storage project—in fact, grid energy storage is one of A123’s main vertical markets, and he says he expects that market to provide 40 percent of the company’s income in the future. A123 has manufacturing plants in Livonia and Romulus, in addition to an Ann Arbor research and development site.