General Motors and ABB Group, a global leader in power and automation technologies, have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop pilot projects for re-using the batteries from the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle, examining whether the batteries may be a source for renewable energy that could improve the effectiveness of wind and solar power generation.
The two companies are collaborating to determine how the Volt’s 16-kWh lithium-ion batteries can be used to provide stationary electric grid storage systems once the batteries have fulfilled their usefulness in customers’ vehicles. The ultimate goal is to provide cost-effective, innovative solutions that will improve the efficiency of the country’s electrical grid.
Earlier this month, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and Sumitomo Corporation formed a new joint-venture to conduct research on the second-life use of lithium-ion batteries that have been used previously in electric cars. (Earlier post.)
The Volt’s battery will have significant capacity to store electrical energy, even after its automotive life. That’s why we’re joining forces with ABB to find ways to enable the Volt batteries to provide environmental benefits that stretch far beyond the highway—Micky Bly, GM Executive Director of Electrical Systems, Hybrids, Electric Vehicles and Batteries
Bly announced the partnership Tuesday at the EV Battery Tech conference in Troy, Michigan.
Future smart grids will incorporate a larger proportion of renewable energy sources and will need to supply a vast e-mobility infrastructure—both of which require a wide range of energy storage solutions.—Bazmi Husain, head of ABB’s smart grids initiative
Engineers and researchers from both companies are working together to study:
Renewable Energy Storage: Power generated by wind and the sun can be stored in Volt battery systems and used when demand warrants.
Grid Load Management: Utilities will be able to use the Volt batteries to store electricity generated during off-peak periods to supplement demand during high-peak operation. This will help utilities to better manage the grid, improving reliability and efficiency.
Back-up Power Supplies for Communities: Volt battery systems can store electricity that can be used by communities during power outages caused by storms or other natural disasters.
Time of Use Management: Industrial customers can store off-peak, lower-priced electrical power in Volt batteries for use during peak demand time of day for cost savings.