China has approved its first large battery storage pilot project as it seeks to maximise renewable energy output and improve grid stability. The Gansu Provincial Development and Reform Commission said that the initial phase of the venture in Gansu province, in northwest China, will require an investment of $175 million. It will have a capacity of 720 MW hours, and storage duration of four hours. The project is scheduled for completion in 2019.
The project is designed to support China’s efforts to balance out renewable generation that fluctuates according to the amount of available wind or sunlight. Subsequent expansion of the Gansu project will depend on the needs of the grid as well as market conditions, according to the provincial authority. According to the statement, the project, when completed, will be the largest energy storage virtual power plant in China.