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NEC switches on Engie’s first utility-scale battery project in Chile

NEC’s GSS storage solution cutaway. Image: NEC Energy Solutions.

NEC Energy Solutions, the distributed energy division of Japanese information tech company NEC, has commissioned a 2MW / 2MWh battery energy storage system in Chile.

The project, which was contracted to NEC ES by the local subsidiary of major European power company Engie back in 2017, provides spinning reserve to the local grid and will be connected to an existing substation. It will be capable of also providing ancillary services.

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The lithium-ion battery project marks Engie’s first foray into energy storage in the country, which has some of the highest levels of solar irradiance in the world around the northern region of the Atacama Desert.

“It’s rewarding to work with a new customer like ENGIE Energía Chile and deliver a solution that provides immediate impact. We hope this is the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship with ENGIE Energía Chile as we continue to establish our presence in Chile and throughout Latin America,” Steve Fludder, CEO of NEC ES, said.

Last September, Fludder told that his company had around 400MW of energy storage projects in its installed base at that time. It had grown by a factor of two over the preceding 12 months and NEC could aim to double its business year-over-year for the foreseeable future, the CEO said.

NEC ES has now worked on three Chilean projects, bringing its installed base in the Latin American country to 32MW with the latest project, on which it worked with local subsidiary NEC Chile.

NEC provided its GSS (Grid Storage Solution) containerised battery energy storage units, including lithium-ion batteries, power conversion system (PCS) and AEROS, NEC ES’ proprietary software control, monitoring and management platform. The company is agnostic in its selection of battery suppliers, Fludder had said, working with providers including LG Chem and Samsung SDI. NEC will also be servicing and maintaining the system, which is in Arica, a port city in the north of Chile.  

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