A 168-megawatt-hour solar farm Hanwha Q Cells built in Texas (Hanwha Q Cells)
Hanwha Q Cells said Thursday it will break ground on its first energy storage systems project in Texas in January.
According to the solar business unit of Hanwha Solutions, the 380-megawatt-hour project, once completed in December next year, will be able to store enough electricity for 154,000 Texas residents to use for one day.
Energy storage systems are giant batteries designed to compensate for the intermittency of renewable energy. When renewables such as solar and wind power generate more electricity than needed and overload the grid, ESS alleviates the burden by storing the excess electricity. During peak hours at night, when the sun goes down and the wind may not be blowing, ESS discharges the stored electricity.
In Texas, ESS is regarded as an emergency backup generator. Hanwha will operate the ESS project independently without connecting it to nearby solar or wind farms and build a track record in large-sized utility-scale ESS operations.
According to the US Department of Energy, solar will generate 40 percent of the country’s electricity by 2040 and 45 percent by 2050. This road map will require the US to install 30 gigawatt-hours of solar farms a year until 2025. To support the massive solar farms, the size of the US ESS market is expected to reach 55-56 gigawatt-hours by 2025, which is nine times greater than currently.
By Kim Byung-wook (email@example.com