ABB will partner with Swiss distribution utility EKZ on a pioneering energy-storage pilot project, which will be the largest of its kind in Switzerland.

Located in Dietikon, the pilot storage facility will be integrated into the utility's power distribution network and evaluated in key areas, such as balancing peak loads, intermittent power supply and the viability of such a solution for grid optimization.

ABB will supply and install the 1-MW lithium-ion battery-based solution with an initial capacity to store 350 kWh to 500 kWh of electricity providing additional power to the grid on demand.

EKZ will evaluate the connection and behavior of grid-linked battery storage and monitor various operational and economic parameters. The pilot is scheduled to be energized by the end of 2011 when EKZ will take over the operations.

“This pilot will help us to evaluate battery storage as an option to ensure a secure and reliable power supply,” said Peter Franken, head of energy distribution at EKZ. “Energy storage will be a focus area with the increase in distributed generation and renewables and could play an important part in the smart grid of tomorrow.”