Hyundai, OCI Solar and CPS Energy test new way to store energy

The collaboration will test used electric vehicle batteries as solar storage.

From left, Jae Hyuk Oh, VP of Energy Business Development Group for Hyundai Motor Group; Fred Bonewell, COO of CPS Energy and Charles Kim, president and CEO of OCI Solar Power, sign the memorandum of understanding to build an energy storage system from used electric vehicle batteries.

Hyundai Motor Group, OCI Solar Power and CPS Energy have entered into an agreement to test recycled electric vehicle batteries for solar energy storage.

Hyundai Motor Group is the parent company of Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Corp., both of which have vehicle manufacturing operations in the southern U.S. OCI Solar Power is one of the largest utility-scale solar energy developers in Texas. CPS Energy is the nation’s largest municipality-owned, fully-integrated electric and natural gas utility, serving San Antonio, Texas, and surrounding areas.

By September 2022, the parties plan to install the energy storage system (ESS) developed by Hyundai Motor Group. OCI Solar Power will procure certain ESS components and supervise construction, while CPS Energy will operate the ESS. All three parties will work to build the ESS and then analyze and share data from the project.

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After seven to 10 years, a lithium-ion battery used in an EV may no longer be as efficient as needed for that use. However, that same battery may be recycled in an energy storage application and provide valuable energy storage. This partnership is a step in testing this technology.

“Hyundai Motor Group will verify the possibilities and effectiveness of the ESS business in the North American market through this partnership,” said Jae Hyuk Oh, vice president of Energy Business Development Group of Hyundai Motor Group. “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 U.S. electricity market.”

OCI Solar Power President and CEO Charles Kim said, “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. We’re proud to have South Korea-based Hyundai Motor Group choose CPS Energy and San Antonio for this project. It speaks to all of our cooperation and commitment to innovation, renewable energy and energy efficiency in the Alamo City.”

Fred Bonewell, chief operating officer of CPS Energy, added, “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.”

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