Battery manufacturer Pu Neng has won a contract to develop what it says is China’s largest flow battery energy storage system.

The Beijing and Vancouver, Canada-based firm will provide a 3 MW/12 MWh vanadium flow battery as the initial phase of the Hubei Zaoyang 10 MW/40 MWh Storage Integration Demonstration Project in Hubei province.  

Phase one of the project will be designed to integrate a large solar PV system onto the grid, Pu Neng said. A subsequent phase is planned to consist of a 100 MW/500 MWh storage project designed to serve as a critical peaking power plant and to support a planned smart grid in the province.

The project will be located in the city of Zaoyang, with installation set to begin this month and phase one scheduled for completion in early 2018.

To grow a supply chain to meet expected future demand for energy storage, Pu Neng and project developer Hubei Pingfan Vanadium Energy Storage Technology Company plan to jointly develop a vanadium electrolyte supply from local sources.

Xie Guangguo, chair of Hubei Pingfan, said: “We selected a vanadium flow battery because they have superior safety, reliability and lifecycle economics compared to lithium-ion and other battery types. We selected Pu Neng because it is the leader in China with its vanadium redox battery technology, and has a track record of performance with State Grid Corporation of China.”

In September, China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) issued policy measures aimed at accelerating the deployment of energy storage by 2020 through large-scale pilot projects.