The Korea Power Exchange (KPX) announced that it discussed the introduction of energy storage system frequency regulation (ESS-FR) services back in July with Director General for Energy Industry Policy Jeong Seung-il of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the CEOs of the companies participating in government-led projects.
ESS-FR can be defined as a novel technology in which the charging and discharging of an ESS is used in place of the adjustment of thermal power plant output in order to maintain the power grid frequency of 60Hz. Power balance can be maintained more efficiently with the aid of it. Also, it can reduce the costs associated with thermal power plant frequency adjustment and contribute to a better management of power systems while creating new business opportunities on the national level.
More specifically, the low-cost power generation can be expanded to reduce the ratio of expensive LNGbased power generation, more power stations for backup power do not have to be built to and the amount of yellow plume can be cut, too. On the part of the operators, the short-period services focusing on the power of the ESS can result in a reduced employment of expensive batteries while the constant output operation contributes to combined power generation efficiency and the costs required for the installation of power generation output control facilities.
The ESS is charged with the power from the power grid, or regulationdown, when the frequency rises and the charged power is released, or regulation up, during a decrease in the frequency. In this way, the low-cost generators in runback operation for frequency adjustment can be run with a constant output, which, in turn, results in a significant reduction in the power generation costs.
In this context, a government-led project is in progress for three years until May 2016. Its purpose is to develop ESS operating systems for power grid frequency adjustment along with a new power market framework and a total of 21.5 billion won is planned to be invested in it, 10 billion won by the government and the rest by the private sector. 10 organizations, including the lead manager of KPX, SK Innovation, LG Chem, LS Industrial System and Hyosung, take part in it.
At present, the United States, Japan, Chile and many other countries are conducting various research projects in the ESS-FR field, aware that the sector has huge growth potential in the future. In particular, the US has already started tens of megawatt-scale commercial operations in as early as 2010.
“We will be putting great efforts for market creation, so that the ESS-FR services provided by multiple operators can be traded smoothly in the power market,” said KPX director Nam Ho-ki, adding, “The endeavor will start from the frequency regulation service, which is deemed to be the most feasible as of now, and then be expanded to cover the various applications of new and renewable energy commercialization, replacement of pumping-up power generation, etc.”