Saft Member Spotlight

Saft Groupe SA, headquartered outside of Paris, France, designs, develops and manufactures batteries and battery systems for industrial and defense applications. Saft’s two operating divisions are the Industrial Battery Group (IBG) and the Specialty Battery Group (SBG). The IBG division manufactures rechargeable nickel and lithium-based battery solutions for such applications as high-speed trains, urban transit networks, subways and trams and storage for renewable energy. The SBG division specializes in the design and manufacture of primary lithium and rechargeable batteries for the electronics, defense and space industries.

Saft is a global company with nearly 4,000 employees in 18 countries around the world, 30 sales offices on 5 continents, and 14 production sites including flagship lithium ion battery manufacturing in Jacksonville, Florida.  Global revenues in 2013 were more than $700 million.

Saft’s activities in the US include major efforts in both grid and transportation applications of energy storage.   The company’s Intensium® Max is a ready-to-install containerized energy storage system that provides a megawatt-level solution that is readily scalable to suit a wide range of applications.   The fully integrated system includes lithium-ion battery modules, power management and control interfaces, air conditioning and safety devices.

The Intensium Max 20P system was used in a pilot program for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA).  The system was used to capture the kinetic energy of braking trains and store it.  The stored energy could then be used to reduce consumption of grid energy, to capture market-based revenue from applications like frequency regulation, and to provide backup power in case of emergency outages.  The pilot program captured braking energy at five stations along one of SEPTA’s busiest routes.  This enabled SEPTA to recover an average of 1.1 MWh on weekdays and 1.5 MWh on weekends.   The system was also qualified by PJM as a fast responder in the frequency regulation market.

Saft also supplied lithium ion battery systems for a Smart Grid project led by Consolidated Edison and Green Charge Networks.  The goal of the project was to install and operate a network of Smart Storage and Generation Units (SSGUs) to overcome peaks in demand and communicate directly with ConEd.  The sites – all in the New York City area – included several convenience stores, car rental locations, hotels and parking garages.  Installation began in 2012 and included nearly a megawatt-hour of storage capacity based on Saft’s Synerion®24M battery modules.  These modules were developed specifically for renewable integration, grid regulation, load leveling, energy storage and UPS applications.  The system is demonstrating the ability to manage usage spikes, to shave peaks, and has the configurability to help commercial customers to avoid peak demand charges.

In 2012, Saft delivered the ideal Energy Storage System (ESS) for Big Island in Hawaii in the form of two Intensium Max 20E containers.  The turnkey ESS solution, including design, supply, installation and commissioning, works in conjunction with ABB’s PCS 100 Power Conversion System.  The two Saft ESS installations are now helping HELCO (Hawaii Electric Light Company) to investigate the capability of energy storage for PV smoothing, reducing renewable energy curtailment and providing ancillary services such as spinning reserves.  

In 2014, Saft received a contract from Tri-Technic Inc. for the delivery of two Intensium Max 20M (IM20M) battery containers to power the Fort Hunter Liggett grid energy storage system.  The Fort Hunter Liggett energy storage unit was designated as a “Net Zero” pilot installation by the Department of Defense (DOD), which signifies that it will only consume as much energy as it produces. The battery system will store energy for later use when the base’s solar power field generates more electricity than demand. 

Also in 2014, Saft was awarded a contract by Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) to provide a Li-ion Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) consisting of eight Intensium Max 20M containers.  Saft’s BESS will be deployed for use as part of a new 12 MW solar energy park under construction in Anahola.

Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC) chose Saft to develop and install the Intensium® Max 20M Medium Power (IM 20M) Li-ion battery container with 232kWh of energy and a 200kW Power Conditioning System from ABB. The Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) will be used as part of a hybrid micro-grid that will deliver cleaner, more reliable and less expensive power to a Colville Lake, a small community of about 150 inhabitants, located 50 miles north of the Arctic Circle in Canada. The Saft solution will provide significant savings in diesel consumption and reduced maintenance expenses.

Saft has been a world leader in battery technology for commercial, industrial, transportation and defense application for nearly a century.  Founded in Paris in 1918, some of the first Saft batteries were used to power luggage carousels in Paris train stations.   Today, Saft is a global leader in battery applications dedicated to sustainability, environmental responsibility and providing world-class products.