Nissan and Eaton to rollout commercial-scale battery storage units in 2017


amsterdam-arena-ajax-1Automaker Nissan has outlined plans to upscale its battery storage unit from household to commercial scale.

Alongside electrical partner Eaton, the firm also today announced a ten-year deal to provide a 4MW battery storage unit to the Amsterdam Arena, home to football club Ajax.

The stadium unit will utilise some 280 used batteries from Nissan’s electric Leaf vehicles to provide back-up power, store its solar and wind generation and enable the Arena to earn revenues from grid balancing services provision.

With the MoU inked, the contract for the project is to be signed in February with installation set to commence mid-2017. The project will cost €2.5m and take 10 years to pay back, according the firms. However, that rate of return is dependent upon the value of peak shaving and grid service provision – if peak prices rise, the payback period will be shorter.

Wilcox: battery storage will transform energy system
Wilcox: battery storage will transform energy system

Announcing the Amsterdam deal, Paul Wilcox, chairman of Nissan Europe, also confirmed that Nissan is now taking UK pre-orders for an expanded, six-strong domestic range of storage devices. Priced from €3.5k to €6k, units of various size will be available using both ‘second life’ vehicle batteries, and new units.

However, that price does not include installation, which Eaton will handle. Frank Campbell, president, corporate and electrical sector, Eaton EMEA, said domestic installation costs would range from around €500 to €1,500, depending on the complexity of works required.

Campbell: Tipping point for battery storage

Orders placed today would be installed by mid-2017, the company said, with a similar timetable predicted for commercial-scale battery storage units, according to Campbell.

Nissan has previously stated that it aims to sell 100,000 domestic battery units by 2020. Neither firm would commit to further volume targets in the near-term, but Eaton’s Campbell believes that battery storage – for both commercial and residential markets – is approaching a “tipping point”. Payback periods, he believes, will come down rapidly over the next five years, potentially more quickly in the UK, given energy price volatility.

Nissan’s Wilcox said battery storage will be “transformative”, enabling customers to avoid peak power prices and to store power from on-site generation. Battery storage “will change the way we deal with energy companies,” he suggested, enabling peer-to-peer energy trading and potentially, community scale aggregation models.

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