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Japan-based Sumitomo Corp. has developed and installed a large-scale energy storage system using batteries collected from electric vehicles (EVs). The commercial storage system, built on Yume-shima Island, Osaka, will begin operating this month.

Sumitomo says that over the next three years, the system will measure the smoothing effect of energy output fluctuation from the nearby Hikari-no-mori solar farm and will aim to establish a large-scale power storage technology by safely and effectively incorporating quantities of discarded EV batteries projected to become available in the future. The project has the support of Japan's environment ministry.

The company notes that it created the 4R Energy Corp. joint venture in collaboration with Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. in September 2010 to address the secondary use of EV lithium-ion batteries.

The used EV batteries recycled into the Osaka energy storage system, Sumitomo reports, have been recovered and gone through thorough inspection and maintenance at 4R to confirm safety and performance. The prototype Osaka system consists of 16 used EV batteries and has a capacity of 400 kWh.

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