Kokam Co., Ltd, the world’s premier provider of innovative battery solutions, today announced that it 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 Corporation (KEPCO) [NYSE: KEP], 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 US$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 U.S. 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.”
Ultra High Power NMC Battery Technology
The new 24 MW and 16 MW Lithium NMC ESSs utilize Kokam’s innovative Ultra High Power NMC battery technology. Designed for high-power energy storage applications, such as frequency regulation, wind or large solar power system ramp rate control, Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) and voltage support, Kokam’s Ultra High Power NMC battery technology delivers:
Higher energy density: This higher density enables 2.4 MWh of energy storage to be installed in a 40 foot container, compared to 1~1.5MWh of energy storage for standard NMC batteries.
High power cycle life: Ultra High Power NMC batteries can last up to 10,000 cycles, compared to 3,000 – 5,000 cycles for standard NMC technologies, increasing an energy storage system’s expected life.
Better charge, discharge and max power rates: Ultra High Power NMC battery technology has charge, discharge and max power rates of 4C, 8C and 15C, compared to 2C, 3C and 4C for competitors. This enables Ultra High Power NMC systems to receive and dispatch more power when needed.
Improved heat dissipation: With a heat dissipation rate that is 1.6 times better than standard NMC technologies, Ultra High Power NMC batteries can be used at a higher rate for longer periods of time with no degradation in battery life or performance.
The systems also 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.”
Are the UK Governments Plans for the Energy Sector Smart?
The revolution in the energy sector marches on, wind turbines and solar panels are harnessing more renewable energy than ever before – so where is it all leading?
The UK government have recently announced plans to modernise the way we produce, store and use electricity. And, if realised, the plans could be just the thing to bring the energy sector in line with 21st century technology and ideologies.
Central to the plans is an initiative that will see smart meters installed in homes and businesses the length and breadth of the country – and their aim? To create an environment where electricity can be managed more efficiently.
The news has prompted some speculation about how energy suppliers will react and many are predicting a price war. This could benefit consumers of electricity and investors, many of whom may be looking to make a profit by trading energy company shares online using platforms such as Oanda – but the potential for good news doesn’t end there.
Introducing New Technology
The plan, titled Smart Systems and Flexibility is being rolled out in the hope that it will have a positive impact in three core areas.
- To offer consumers greater control by making smart meters available for all homes and businesses by 2020. Energy users will be able to monitor, control and record the amount of energy they use.
- Incentivise energy suppliers to change the manner in which they buy electricity, to offer more smart tariffs and more off-peak periods for energy consumption.
- Introduce new standards for electrical appliances – it is hoped that the new wave of appliances will recognise when electricity is at its cheapest and at its most expensive and respond accordingly.
How the Plans Will Affect Solar Energy
Around 7 million houses in the UK have solar panels and the government say that their plan will benefit them as they will be able to store electricity on batteries. The stored energy can then be used by the household and excess energy can be exported to the national grid – in this instance lower tariffs or even payment for the excess energy will bring down annual costs significantly.
The rate of return on energy exported to the national grid is currently between 6% and 10%, but there are many variables to take into account, such as, the cost of battery storage and light levels. Still, those with state-of-the-art solar electricity systems could end up with an annual profit after selling their excess energy.
The Internet of Things
Much of what the plans set out to achieve are linked to the now ubiquitous “internet of things” – where, for example, appliances and heating systems are connected to the internet in order to make them function more smartly.
Companies like Hive have already made great inroads into this type of technology, but the road that the government plans are heading down, will, potentially, go much further -blockchain technology looms and has already proved to be a game changer in the world of currency.
It has already been suggested that the peer to peer selling of energy and exporting it to the national grid may eventually be done using blockchain technology.
“The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”
Don and Alex Tapscott, Blockchain Revolution (2016)
The upshot of the government’s plans for the revolution of the energy sector, is that technology will play an indelible role in making it more efficient, more flexible and ultimately more sustainable.
4 Case Studies on the Benefits of Solar Energy
Demand for solar energy is growing at a surprising rate. New figures from SolarPower Europe show that solar energy production has risen 50% since the summer of 2016.
However, many people are still skeptical of the benefits of solar energy.Does it actually make a significant reduction in our carbon footprint? Is it actually cost-effective for the company over the long-run?
A number of case studies have been conducted, which indicate solar energy can be enormously beneficial. Here are some of the most compelling studies on the subject.
1. Boulder Nissan
When you think of companies that leverage solar power, car dealerships probably aren’t the first ones that come to mind. However, Boulder Nissan is highly committed to promoting green energy. They worked with Independent Power Systems to setup a number of solar cells. Here were the results:
- Boulder Nissan has reduced coal generated electricity by 65%.
- They are on track to run on 100% renewable energy within the next 13 years.
- Boulder Nissan reduced CO2 emissions by 416,000 lbs. within the first year after installing their solar panels.
This is one of the most impressive solar energy case studies a small business has published in recent years. It shows that even small companies in rural communities can make a major difference by adapting solar energy.
2. Valley Electric Association
In 2015, the Valley Electric Association (VEA) created an 80-acre solar garden. Before retiring from the legislature, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid praised the new project as a way to make the state more energy dependent and reduce our carbon footprint.
“This facility will provide its customers with the opportunity to purchase 100 percent of their electricity from clean energy produced in Nevada,” Reid told reporters with the Pahrump Valley Times. “That’s a step forward for the Silver State, but it also proves that utilities can work with customers to provide clean renewable energy that they demand.”
The solar energy that VEA produced was drastically higher than anyone would have predicted. SolarWorld estimates that the solar garden created 32,680,000 kwh every year, which was enough to power nearly 4,000 homes.
This was a major undertaking for a purple state, which may inspire their peers throughout the Midwest to develop solar gardens of their own. It will reduce dependency on the electric grid, which is a problem for many remote states in the central part of the country.
3. Las Vegas Casinos
A number of Las Vegas casinos have started investing in solar panels over the last couple of years. The Guardian reports that many of these casinos have cut costs considerably. Some of them are even selling the energy back to the grid.
“It’s no accident that we put the array on top of a conference center. This is good business for us,” Cindy Ortega, chief sustainability officer at MGM Resorts told Guardian reporters. “We are looking at leaving the power system, and one of the reasons for that is we can procure more renewable energy on the open market.”
There have been many benefits for casinos using solar energy. They are some of the most energy-intensive institutions in the world, so this has helped them become much more cost-effective. It also helps minimize disruptions to their customers learning online keno strategies in the event of any problems with the electric grid.
4. Boston College
Boston College has been committed to many green initiatives over the years. A group of researchers experimented with solar cells on different parts of the campus to see where they could produce the most electricity. They discovered that the best locationwas at St. Clement’sHall. The solar cells there dramatically. It would also reduce CO2 emissions by 521,702 lbs. a year and be enough to save 10,869 trees.
Boston College is exploring new ways to expand their usage of solar cells. They may be able to invest in more effective solar panels that can generate far more solar energy.
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