Kokam Announces 40 MWh Projects In South Korea

By Battery Power Staff

November 28, 2018 | Kokam has announced two projects totaling 40 Megawatt hours (MWh) of photovoltaic (PV)-connected Energy Storage System (ESS) capacity in South Korea. These two projects, representing 12 MWh and 28 MWh of ESS capacity, will use Kokam’s High Energy Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (HE NMC) battery technology to deliver the safe, energy dense storage the projects need for renewable capacity firming and energy time shifting.

The project announcement comes about six weeks after SolarEdge Technologies entered into a definitive agreement to acquire approximately 75% of outstanding equity shares of Kokam. Over time, according to company statements, SolarEdge intends to purchase the remaining outstanding equity shares of Kokam that are currently listed on the Korean over the counter exchange through open-market purchases and otherwise, eventually resulting in Kokam becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of SolarEdge.

The first project was installed at three sites in South Korea’s Chungchoeng region in collaboration with the project’s renewable energy system developer, Razzler, who is managing Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC). For this project, Kokam delivered and installed 5 megawatts (MW) / 12 MWh of total ESS capacity to support a total of 5 MW of PV system capacity.

The second project is for Korea Midland Power Co. for nine sites located throughout South Korea. This project consists of 8 MW / 28 MWh of total ESS capacity coupled with a total of 10 MW PV system capacity. All 28 MWh of ESS capacity is scheduled to be installed and in operation by the end of 2018.

“These two new projects and the introduction of our new high-energy 100 Ah HE NMC cell illustrate that we provide the technology and expertise that PV and other renewable energy project developers and owners need to integrate safe, high-energy storage into their projects,” said Ike Hong, vice president of Kokam’s Power Solutions Division in a press release.

The majority of the ESS capacity for the 28 MWh Korea Midland Power project uses Kokam’s newly-developed 100 Ah HE NMC cell. This next-generation, high-energy cell has a new active material in the anode and includes a new additive to the cell’s electrolyte, increasing the cell’s energy density by 26%, to 204.4 watt hours per kilogram (Wh/kg), without reducing its expected life. Kokam ESS solutions with the new cells help renewable energy project developers and owners lower the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) and increase the ROI for ESSs used to support PV and wind systems.

Kokam’s ESSs feature three levels of protection, with a Battery Management System (BMS), a Battery Protection Unit (BPU), and a fire fighting system. In addition, all Kokam battery modules use flame-retardant material, further increasing the safety of the ESS.

Strong PV-Connected Energy Storage Incentives Drive Growth of South Korea ESS Market

As part of its “Renewable Energy 3020” plan, which aims to increase renewable energy’s share of South Korea’s energy generation from 4% in 2016 to 20% by 2030, South Korea is incentivizing the installation of ESS with PV systems. The government is granting a Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) weight of 5.0 to all electricity discharged from ESSs coupled to PV power systems during off-peak times (before 10:00 am and after 4:00 pm).

South Korea is encouraging the installation of ESSs with PV systems because ESSs address several of the problems caused by the intermittent energy generation of renewable resources. ESSs can store energy generated by the PV systems when energy supply is high or demand is low, and then discharge this energy later in the day when energy supply is low or demand is high, increasing the value of the energy generated by the PV system. In addition, ESSs can perform ramp rate control, stabilizing the amount of energy delivered by a PV system to the grid during the day, and provide other ancillary services to maintain grid stability.