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LG Energy Solution’s new BESS system integrator arm claims 10GWh of US orders booked already

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Update 22 December 2023: An LG Energy Solution Vertech representative reached out to Energy-Storage.news to clarify that the 10GWh of projects are “secured” but that some are in contracting rather than already contracted.

The new system integrator arm of South Korean battery and storage system manufacturer LG Energy Solution has already racked up 10GWh of project orders in the US.

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System integrator LG Energy Solution Vertech (Vertech) officially launched in September with a press event held at the RE+ clean energy trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada, US. It came after LG Energy Solution acquired 100% ownership of former battery storage market leader NEC ES in early 2022, and the new owner’s next moves have since then been hotly anticipated by the industry.

The parent company said this morning (20 December) that Vertech has been contracted for 10 separate grid-scale battery energy storage system (BESS) projects with developers adding up to 10GWh. Individual project sizes, customer names or total output in gigawatt or megawatt terms were not disclosed in a release sent to media including Energy-Storage.news.

For LG Energy Solution, which went public through an IPO at the beginning of 2022, the US has been identified as its most important target market to focus on, not least because of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) policies that have promised tailwinds to its main focus areas of electric vehicles (EVs) and BESS.

Back in October last year the company said it wanted to put 45% of its production footprint in North America, with 35% in Asia and 25% in Europe. A few months later in March 2023 LG Energy Solution revealed it would build a US cell factory with 16GWh of annual production capacity dedicated to the stationary energy storage market.

That 16GWh BESS cell production line will sit alongside EV cell manufacturing at the site in Queen Creek, Arizona. BESS cells will be pouch form factor lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cells. Back at LG Energy Solution’s press event at RE+, Seungse Chang, then the head of the company’s ESS division (since succeeded by Hyung Kim) told Energy-Storage.news that production at the factory would meet required thresholds to avail of IRA incentives for domestic content manufactured in the US.

Chang also claimed the company’s long history of working with LFP cells for EV applications put it in a good position to mass produce high quality LFP cells for BESS too, and with a new design that stacks layers of the cell vertically rather than in the common ‘jellyroll’ configuration.

LG Energy Solution Vertech’s US projects will utilise the LFP cells, together with all other components integrated by Vertech including hardware integration, system controls software and related services.

NEC ES energy management system AEROS lives on

Key to that software piece is the AEROS energy management system (EMS) which was developed by NEC ES and was often spoken about by that company’s leadership as one of its key differentiators. The software suite offers end-users supervisory and controls services and access to cloud-based battery performance analytics.

AEROS is also onboarded with advanced AI and machine learning for revenue optimisation analysis and digital twin capabilities.

At the September launch, Vertech head Jaehong Park further described AEROS’ threefold energy market optimisation capabilities: degradation analysis, system cost estimation including augmentation planning and algorithms to estimate the status of a BESS asset for market bidding of its stored energy.

LG Energy Solution does not yet break out financial figures for its BESS activities, but company representatives have previously told Energy-Storage.news that this may be added in due course.

Energy-Storage.news’ publisher Solar Media will host the 6th Energy Storage Summit USA, 19-20 March 2024 in Austin, Texas. Featuring a packed programme of panels, presentations and fireside chats from industry leaders focusing on accelerating the market for energy storage across the country. For more information, go to the website.

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