Tesla Powerpacks Adds Japanese Trains to Osaka Virtual Power Plant


Tesla tweeted and posted on Instagram a photo of the installation in Osaka, Japan. Image: Tesla via Instagram.

A 7 MWh capacity Tesla Powerpack energy storage system has been deployed for a railway company in Japan, adding back-up power capabilities to trains and adding the system to an ongoing virtual power plant project.

Tesla tweeted and posted an Instagram post claiming that the planned installation of a network-wide battery energy storage (BESS) system at a station in Osaka, western Japan, had been executed in just two days. Incidentally, Osaka is the Japanese city where the headquarters of the Gigafactory and Tesla’s photovoltaic production partner, Panasonic, as well as the National Laboratory for Advanced Energy Storage Technologies (NLAB) and its test center, are located.

Tesla confirmed today Storage-Energie.news that train operator Kintetsu uses the system to ensure that in the event of power outages, potentially caused by natural disasters to which Japan is sometimes subjected, the 42 connected Powerpacks can keep a train moving for up to 30 minutes , or move trains over multiple lines for shorter (split) periods.

The system will also be used to reduce peak load on the grid, while also being added to the virtual power plant (VPP) demonstration project of regional power company Kansai Electric Power, one of two projects funded in the national level to assess the technology.

Kansai Electric Power (not to be confused with Korean utility, also abbreviated as KEPCO), joined the first protests in 2016, then successfully requested additional support from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and its Natural Resources and Energy Agency for the continuation of the VPP project in Imperial Year Heisei 30 (2019).

After proving that basic controls would work in 2016, 2017 focused on using VPP to adjust grid frequency, the project in 2018 moved on to the next phase: adding new layers of value and functionality to VPP, a press release from KEPCO stated in May 2018. The two VPP initiatives are part of the government’s Open and Sustainable Innovation Initiative (SoII), which aims to promote progress in all areas, from buildings zero energy to support global start-up ecosystems and the development of micro-grids.

A press release from Kintetsu estimated the size of the Tesla system at 4,200 kW / 7,098 kWh. The company gave the full operational start date at the start of this week, April 1. It is connected to a substation at Higashi Hanazono, on the Nara Line service from Kintetsu. The battery system can be charged and discharged remotely, either to help level the peak load on the local network, both for Kintetsu and for the VPP, as well as in the event of an outage or emergency as required .

Tesla’s Powerpack system, as promoted in the Japanese market on its website, uses DC-DC converters. Each unit contains 16 battery modules and an integrated dual cooling system for temperature management, which, along with other manufacturing processes of the Powerpack, builds on Tesla’s experience and technology from its model S EV.

This week, Storage-Energie.news UK energy storage company Moixa said various inflection points are pushing the battery energy storage market forward in Japan, with the UK company exporting its optimization, control and aggregation software through a partnership. with the commercial company ITOCHU. These inflection points include an ongoing process of liberalization, deregulation and reform of the energy market that informs many decisions and dynamics of the market as a whole.


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