Hyundai auto group partners with U.S. electric utility CPS to install ESS in Texas

Lim Chang-won Reporter() | Posted : September 15, 2021, 10:44 | Updated : September 15, 2021, 10:44

[Courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group ]


SEOUL -- South Korea's Hyundai auto group will install an energy storage system reusing spent electric vehicle batteries to supply power in Texas in September 2022 through a partnership with CPS Energy, the American municipal electric utility serving the city of San Antonio. An energy storage system is an integrated system of battery packs and is connected to a power grid to provide power to nearby towns or sell electricity back to power companies.

Batteries use chemical energy stored in rechargeable battery packs. When electric vehicle batteries reach the end of life, valuable materials such as aluminum, cobalt, nickel, lithium and metals can be recovered and recycled. Batteries with excellent residual performance are divided into modules or packs to be reused as an energy storage system (ESS).

The Hyundai auto group signed a memorandum of understanding with CPS Energy and OCI Solar Power, a subsidiary of South Korea's OCI Group, to carry out an ESS demonstration project in a ceremony at OCI Solar Power's headquarters in San Antonio. CPS Energy provides a site and operates the ESS system, while OCI Solar Power procures and constructs other facilities such as a power conversion system.

"This demonstration project will be a bridgehead for an energy storage system reusing electric vehicle batteries to enter the North American power market," Oh Jae-hyuk, head of Hyundai's new energy business development division, said in a statement. "In the future, we plan to expand into a solution business that will solve the volatility problem of renewable energy in an eco-friendly way by linking hydrogen production, storage, and power generation systems."

Hydrogen fuel cell power plants use hydrogen separated from liquefied natural gas to fuel power generators. When electricity is generated, it is stored in an energy storage system. The Hyundai auto group has enhanced its renewable energy sector as energy storage demand is growing thanks to the global transition from carbon-intensive energy sources to natural gas and renewable source solutions.

The group forged a strategic partnership with Wärtsilä of Finland in 2018 to commercialize an energy storage system for battery recycling. A year later, the group joined hands with Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP), the operator of nuclear power stations, to supply energy storage systems using discarded batteries. SK Innovation, a major electric vehicle battery maker in South Korea, has teamed up with the auto group for an empirical cooperation process to collect spent battery packs and use them for other purposes or extract metals of economic value.
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