The Tomamae Wind Villa Power Plant continues to be one of the world’s largest vanadium redox flow battery energy storage installations and, at the time of commissioning in 2000, was Japan’s first and largest wind power plant. In 2005, Sumitomo Electric International (Osaka, Japan) was contracted to install a vanadium flow battery system at the existing 30.6 MW Tomamae Wind Villa on the island of Hokkaido, Japan. The primary intent of the battery system is to provide “wind smoothing” for the intermittent and variable wind plant. The facility has operated well since 5 January 2005, sometimes performing over 50 charge-discharge cycles per hour. By acting as a rapid source and sink for the sometimes highly variable wind energy production, this facility has reduced the ramping rates of the wind farm’s output with respect to the rest of the island’s grid by reducing the peaks and valleys of the wind farm energy output.

The project is located on a Tomamae Town managed stock farm. Scenery and farm land utilization is preserved by burying the power cables and installing transformers in the turbine towers. The energy storage facility is configured with 16 modules rated at 250 kW each, which gives the entire facility 4 MW with 6 MWh of storage (90 minutes). Pulse power of 6 MW exists, but only for 20 minutes. The project was developed and is owned by J-Power, the largest electric utility in Japan. While moving into wind generation, J-Power produces most of it’s electricity from coal-fired and hydroelectric power plants. Other J-Power wind generation projects include the 65.98 MW Koriyama Nunobiki-kogen Wind Power Plant, 24.75 MW Nikaho Highland Wind Project, 21 MW Green Power Kuzumaki Wind Farm, and the 22 MW J-Wind Tahara plants.

Vanadium Redox Flow Battery