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SK Group units partner with US clean energy company for ESS projects

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : January 17, 2024, 11:20 Updated : January 17, 2024, 23:10
Courtesy of SK gas
[Courtesy of SK gas and SK D&D]

SEOUL -- SK gas, a natural gas provider affiliated with South Korea's SK Group, will work with Apex Clean Energy, a Virginia-based renewable energy company, to establish energy storage systems infrastructure in the United States. Through a joint venture, the South Korean company will build energy storage facilities in Texas with a capacity of 200 megawatts. The amount of generated electricity is enough to provide power to about 330,000 households annually.

An energy storage system (ESS) is a power storage system that consists of batteries or specially designed battery packs. It is normally connected to a renewable energy source such as a solar power plant or a wind farm to collect electricity and provide power to nearby towns' power grids or sell electricity back to power companies.

According to data released by market research firm Global Market Insights, the energy storage market size in the U.S., which stood at $60.3 billion in 2022, is projected to reach $249.3 in 2032. Targeting the ESS market in the U.S., SK gas and SK D&D, a real estate and renewable energy development arm of SK Group, set up "SA Grid Solutions," a joint venture with Apex, in December 2023 in Virginia. SA Grid Solutions' 60 percent stake is owned by Gridflex, the American branch of the two SK Group units, and Apex holds 40 percent.  

SK gas said on January 17 that SA Grid Solutions selected Texas as its first ESS investment area. According to SK gas, demands for ESS are rapidly increasing in the southern state with renewable energy sources exceeding 30 percent of total power generation. After commercial operation of the 200-megawatt-class ESS infrastructure in Texas in September 2024, SA Grid Solutions will expand its ESS projects into other regions in the U.S.

"Through the ESS business, we will contribute to stabilizing power supply and demand, and support the expansion of renewable energy to achieve our vision of becoming the 'net-zero solution provider,'" SK gas CE Yoon Byung-suk said in a statement. The company said Apex has a total power generation capacity of 8.6 gigawatts.  

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