In South Korea, battery company Kokam has deployed two lithium nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) oxide energy storage systems (ESS) – rated at 24 MW/9 MWh and 16 MW/6 MWh – for frequency regulation on the national electricity grid. The company says that the 24 MW system is the world’s largest-capacity lithium NMC ESS used for frequency regulation.
Energy storage for grid frequency regulation
The two new Kokam systems have been operational since January 2016, along with a Kokam 16 MW/5 MWh lithium titanate oxide (LTO) energy storage system deployed in August 2015. They now provide South Korea’s largest utility, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), with 56 MW of energy storage capacity for frequency regulation.
Together 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.
Reducing energy costs
In addition to improving grid reliability, the Kokam ESSs will enable KEPCO to improve its operational 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 reduce ‘wear and tear’ on all of its power plants.
For example, these three Kokam energy storage systems will deliver estimated annual savings of US$13 million in fuel costs, providing fuel cost savings three times higher than the ESS purchase price over the systems’ lifetimes. In addition, by reducing the amount of fossil fuels burnt for frequency regulation, the ESSs will help reduce KEPCO’s greenhouse gas emissions.
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