Key Capture Energy places 390MW BESS order with Sungrow

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KCE TX7, a 10MW Key Capture Energy BESS project in Texas. The company has since embarked on much larger projects in the state’s ERCOT market. Image: Key Capture Energy.

A 390MW order for Sungrow’s battery energy storage system (BESS) equipment has been booked by US energy storage project developer, owner and operator Key Capture Energy (KCE). 

The deal is for projects set to begin construction during this year and into 2022. Sungrow Americas, the regional subsidiary of China-headquartered global leading PV inverter manufacturer Sungrow, will supply fully integrated BESS solutions including battery cells, enclosures, transformers, power conversion system (PCS) and software and controls. 

Sungrow diversified from PV inverters into energy storage system design and manufacture initially through a partnership with major battery manufacturer Samsung SDI that went global in 2016. 

KCE’s order will be for Sungrow’s ST2752UX liquid cooling BESS units and accompanying PCS SC5000UD-MV power conversion. Sungrow’s website lists the pre-assembled ST2752UX in its ‘new products’ range. 

The BESS units come with 2752kWh of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery capacity each and are configurable to two and four-hour duration applications. Its designed with ease of installation in mind, meaning each unit can be in place and connected within eight hours, Sungrow claimed. 

Sungrow will also provide maintenance on the projects. KCE did not disclose where the projects will be, or the capacity of the 390MW of systems in megawatt-hours, but the company has large-scale standalone battery projects already built or in development in various parts of the US.

In a recent interview with Energy-Storage.news, KCE CEO Jeff Bishop said the bulk of the company’s new builds over the next couple of years will be in New York and Texas where it has already been building plants for some time.

However, further ahead, KCE’s strategy is to look to the markets and regions “that will be dominant in three to five years,” Bishop said. He noted Connecticut, which recently introduced a 1GW energy storage deployment target by 2030, as an example of an overlooked market.

The CEO also said that in general terms, parts of the Midcontinent System Operator (MISO) market “are very attractive,” and KCE has 600MW in development in various pockets of the 15 US states and one Canadian province that comprise the MISO service area. 

Sungrow’s ST2752UX liquid cooling BESS unit. Image: Sungrow.

‘Supply locked-in to 2022’

The deal closely follows the August announcement that Sungrow will supply 1GW of battery storage equipment to another US developer, Broad Reach Power, for projects in Texas. 

In a recent article for this site, US renewable and clean energy finance lawyer Adam Walters of Stoel Rives LLP said that procurement is a challenging and chaotic endeavour in the nascent energy storage market. Other recent developments like Tesla’s 2GW / 6GWh supply agreement with Arevon, hint that the industry is working to ensure it has sufficient supply chain robustness to execute on the growing demand for battery storage. 

KCE’s other BESS suppliers have included Powin Energy and NEC ES. The developer itself was recently acquired by South Korean energy company SK E&S, an affiliate of major Korean conglomerate SK Group. 

“With 254 MW of battery storage projects in construction or operation today, Key Capture Energy welcome Sungrow as a new supplier and are pleased to partner with them on our next tranche of utility-scale battery storage projects,” KCE CEO Jeff Bishop said.

“With SK E&S as Key Capture Energy’s new owner and our battery supply locked in through 2022, we look forward to collaborating closely with Sungrow to build and operate lasting and sustainable projects as KCE works to become the leading energy storage company in the United States.”

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