As outlined in the MoU, Siemens will supply converters and controllers as well as planning and implementing projects, while LG Chem will supply the batteries and battery management systems. Image: LG Chem.
LG Chem and Siemens have announced the signing of a deal to “collaborate more closely” on grid-stabilising energy storage systems, which will include work on Siemens’ Siestorage solution for grid integration of renewable energy.
An announcement made by Siemens said the two companies will focus on industrial battery storage systems, with the pair hoping to 'accelerate their dominance' of the growing market for energy storage systems (ESS) over several years of working together. Siemens said the agreement, made earlier this week, was driven by growing demand for ESS to stabilise grids. The two companies have already collaborated on storage for some time, but have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) around this latest announcement.
The division of duties between the two companies has been decided, with Siemens to supply converters and controllers to storage projects, as well as project planning and implementation. LG Chem meanwhile will supply batteries and battery management systems.
Siemens’ modular Siestorage system can be scaled up from 16kWh to 20MW/20MWh to assist the integration of renewables and other distributed generation. In common with comparable systems on the market, it deals with fluctuation of power and imbalances in generation and load, applicable to the challenges raised by adding intermittent output from wind and solar to the energy mix.
While there will be a focus on renewable energy integration, the two companies’ work will by no means be limited to this area. For example, in a project previously completed by the pair, a gas turbine plant powering a steel mill in Eisenhüttenstadt, Germany, will be able to start up without consuming grid electricity, instead using battery power in a process known as a “black start”.
A report in February by US firm Navigant Research on the market for industrial scale storage predicted that by 2023, the utility-scale market will exceed US$2.5 billion in revenues, from being worth US$164 million in 2014.
At the other end of the scale, the market for residential storage systems paired with rooftop PV will grow tenfold as a market in the next four years, despite facing significant challenges, according to research firm IHS. There was no mention in the latest announcement from LG Chem and Siemens whether the two companies will collaborate in this area as well as on large-scale systems.
As part of its existing involvement in consumer, automotive and stationary applications for energy storage, LG Chem began supplying SMA with lithium-ion batteries for its storage-linked residential solar inverters in 2013, having collaborated with the German manufacturer on developing inverters for a number of years.