US battery storage developer Key Capture Energy’s takeover by SK E&S complete

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New York Congressman Paul Tonko visting one of Key Capture Energy’s projects in the state in 2019. Image: Key Capture Energy.

South Korean energy company SK E&S is now the new owner of US utility-scale energy storage developer, owner and operator Key Capture Energy. 

Key Capture Energy (KCE) said yesterday that the deal has been closed, with three members of SK E&S’ executive team joining its board of directors. KCE said the guidance and counsel of the trio, including SK E&S vice chairman and CEO Jeong Joon Yu, would be “tremendously helpful” as the developer embarked on a growth strategy over the coming years. 

Financial terms have not been disclosed. However, as reported by Energy-Storage.news in September when the planned transaction was announced, SK E&S has said that it intends to invest over a billion dollars into KCE

SK E&S is an affiliate of major Korean conglomerate SK Group. It is involved in the energy business in segments spanning thermal fossil fuel generation to renewables and hydrogen. It already operates around 700MWh in South Korea and US markets, although its primary focus thus far in the US had been in the residential and commercial and industrial (C&I) energy storage space. 

Its investment into KCE, which operates like an independent power producer (IPP), identifying pockets of opportunity in hot or upcoming markets in the US from New York and Texas to the MISO wholesale market, will give the South Korean company a platform to access the US market further. 

KCE has 274MW of standalone energy storage projects in construction or already in operation and a development pipeline of 3,000MW, around a third of which is in New York, where the company just completed work on a 20MW / 40MWh project. 

In a recent interview with Energy-Storage.news, KCE CEO Jeff Bishop talked about how in addition to developing and constructing projects, the company optimises the operation and market interaction of its battery storage assets using proprietary algorithms — forecasting “macro supply and demand on the grid subject to power flow constraints on a rolling basis and optimise our projects accordingly, responding to price signals that tell us what the grid needs most”.

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