Kokam Co., Ltd has successfully deployed two Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) Oxide Energy Storage Systems (ESSs), a 24-megawatt (MW) system / 9-megawatt hour (MWh) and a 16 MW / 6 MWh system, for frequency regulation on the South Korean electricity grid. The 24 MW system is the largest capacity Lithium NMC ESS used for frequency regulation in the world.
Operational since January 2016, the two new systems, along with a Kokam 16MW / 5MWh Lithium Titanate Oxide (LTO) ESS system deployed in August 2015, provide South Korea’s largest utility, Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO), with 56 MW of energy storage capacity for frequency regulation. These three systems are part of the world’s largest ESS frequency regulation project, which is scheduled to have deployed 500 MW of battery-based energy storage when it is completed in 2017.
In addition to improving grid reliability, the Kokam ESSs will enable KEPCO to improve its operation efficiency by reducing its need for spinning power generation reserves. This will allow KEPCO to shift energy generation to lower cost, more efficient power plants and decrease “wear and tear” on all its power plants. For example, the three Kokam ESSs will deliver an estimated annual savings of $13 million in fuel costs, providing fuel cost savings three times larger than the ESSs’ purchase price over the systems’ lifetimes. In addition, by reducing the amount of fossil fuels burnt for frequency regulation, the Kokam ESSs will help reduce KEPCO’s greenhouse gas emissions.
“Kokam specializes in the development of advanced battery technologies for the world’s most demanding Energy Storage System applications, including frequency regulation, which needs systems that deliver high power, fast recharge rates and long cycle lives,” said Ike Hong, vice president of Kokam’s Power Solutions Division. “Our Energy Storage Systems provide KEPCO with the performance it needs to precisely and cost-effectively regulate frequency on the South Korean grid, helping it ensure the stability of this grid, improve its operational efficiency and lower its greenhouse gas emissions.”
“In the US and Europe, Kokam has already garnered recognition for its exceptional Lithium Ion battery technology. Against stiff competition during the KEPCO frequency regulation project procurement process, Kokam proved its competitiveness after a comprehensive economical and technical analysis,” said Hwang Woohyun, Ph.D, KEPCO’s senior vice president, head of Innovative Energy Business Division. “Kokam’s 56 MW of Energy Storage Systems are making a major contribution to the stabilization of our grid, and we hope to continue to cooperate with Kokam to develop energy storage projects that improve grid reliability, lower our operational costs and reduce our environmental impact.”
The systems use Kokam’s KCE 40-foot container, which features a direct cooling design, in which the container’s Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system only regulates temperatures inside the system’s racks rather than the entire container. This results in 70 percent less air conditioning auxiliary load than standard containers.
“With some of the most innovative battery and other energy storage technologies on the market, 26-years of lithium-ion battery system manufacturing experience and 95 MW of energy storage system capacity in operation around the world, Kokam has positioned itself as a leader in the rapidly growing energy storage system market,” said Hong. “For applications such as frequency regulation, renewable energy smoothing, transmission and distribution investment deferral, demand response and peak load shaving, Kokam provides customers with advanced battery and other energy storage systems technologies that deliver superior performance at a competitive price.”