CPS Energy, Hyundai, OCI Solar sign MOU to test storage pilot with recycled EV batteries

San Antonio municipal utility CPS Energy is partnering with a solar firm and global automobile group to develop a large-scale energy storage testing project from recycled electric vehicle batteries.

Hyundai Ioniq EV. Image credit Hyundai

The memorandum of understanding between CPS, OCI Solar Power and Hyundai Motor Group aims to build the utility-scale system in exactly one year. Hyundai Motor Group will develop the energy storage system, while OCI Solar Power will procure the storage system components and CPS Energy will operate the project.

“Today, we are taking a very important step in advancing our technology in regards to battery storage, thanks to this new collaboration with OCI Solar Power and the Hyundai Motor Group,” said Fred Bonewell, Chief Operating Officer of CPS Energy. “Evaluating these innovative technologies is key to discovering the next firming capacity that would be needed to replace fossil fuels. The fact that Hyundai Motor chose the Alamo City to test this storage project speaks volumes to San Antonio’s commitment to reducing emissions through innovative technology.”

All three companies will build the system and then analyze and share data from the project. The energy storage installation will be in San Antonio, where CPS Energy already has deployed combination solar and battery systems.

“CPS Energy has been a visionary leader for solar projects in Texas. And now, nearly 10 years after we began developing solar and storage solutions in Texas, we are stepping up our green-energy game,” Charles Kim, CEO of OCI Solar Power, said. “This new collaboration among Hyundai Motor Group, CPS Energy, and OCI Solar Power, will make us one of the first to study the performance and cost benefits of redeploying EV batteries.”

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Hyundai Motor Group, which includes the Hyundai and Kia brands, will use the system to verify the possibilities of utilizing recycle batteries for the ESS market in North America. The work could incorporate other carbon-free resources in the future.

“The Group plans to expand its energy solution business via grafting hydrogen energy to the battery system, and provide flexibility against energy volatility in the US electricity market,” said Jae Hyuk Oh, Vice President of Energy Business Development Group of Hyundai Motor Group, in a statement.

CPS Energy launched a 5-MW solar with 10-MW storage project in 2018. It also contracts with customers to offer community solar options.

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(Rod Walton is content director for Power Engineering, POWERGEN International and the online POWERGEN+ series. He is a 13-year veteran of covering the energy industry both as a longtime newspaper journalist and trade publication editor. Walton can be reached at 918-831-9177 and rod.walton@clarionevents.com).

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