Electric car startup Coda announced today that it's launching a new business division to sell a modified version of its car batteries as custom energy storage systems to support the power grid. The announcement comes as parent company Coda Holdings prepares to start selling its electric sedan next month.
Coda Energy will use the lithium-ion batteries developed for electric vehicles by its parent company and couple it with a storage management system. The batteries are modular and are designed to be stacked vertically into a tower to suit a variety of energy storage needs. The grid batteries will be targeted to the utility, transportation, microgrid, commercial and industrial sectors.
Grid operators have traditionally relied on natural gas peaking power plants, which run in times of high energy demand, to balance electricity flows. Energy storage essentially gives grid operators another way to balance out that load. Energy storage also will become increasingly important as more wind and solar installations, which have intermittency problems, come online.
Coda decision to launch a grid battery unit isn't a bad one. Energy storage, which includes batteries, compressed air and pumped hydro storage, is a growing market. Plus, the company is protecting itself if the electric vehicle market stagnates. New worldwide installations of energy storage capacity will increase from 121 megawatts in 2011 to 12,353 MW -- a 100-fold increase -- in the next decade, according to a November report from Pike Research.