A groundbreaking ceremony was held on September 1 by China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG) for the construction of a standalone energy storage plant in Qingyun County of China’s Shandong Province. The facility is CTG’s first standalone energy storage plant and the province’s first demonstration project for energy storage.
Thanks to the abundance of local resources related to solar and wind energy, the proportion of new and renewable energy systems installed in Qingyun County has surpassed 95%. CTG is leveraging this same advantage to assist in the implementation of the provincial initiatives pertaining to the deployment of energy storage systems. Under the guidance of various levels of government and with the support from Dezhou Power Supply Company (a subsidiary of the State Grid Corporation of China), CTG is taking part in the building of a new electric power platform. According to the reporting by Chinese media, other power companies will also be joining in the efforts to create, promote, and replicate the “Qingyun model” for the practical development of the more advanced power infrastructure.
The Qingyun energy storage project is going to be built over multiple phases. The first phase will involve the setup of a 100MW/200MWh energy storage system and a 220kV booster station. The energy storage system consists of LFP batteries rated at 1,500V and a cooling component. Chinese media are touting that the facility will feature the most cutting-edge energy storage technology available in the world. The project is designed to have a total storage capacity of 300MW/600MWh.
The project is scheduled to enter operation by the end of this year, with a single charge providing up to 200,000kWh of green electricity. The facility will be used for peak shaving and load leveling. In other words, it will store excess electricity supply when the local power consumption is low and release electricity supply when the local power consumption spikes. By performing its function, the facility will ensure that Qingyun runs on green electricity 24/7. This also means that Shandong will have its first county-level green grid.
New kinds of energy technologies will play critical roles in supplying power across China as the government of the country pursues the goal of curbing carbon emissions and achieving carbon neutrality. However, the rapid growth in installations of renewable energy systems has introduced many variables on the demand side and corresponding challenges on the supply side. Here, energy storage technologies are deployed to further increase the consumption of electricity from renewable sources while maintaining the stability of regional grids. In the future, energy storage plants will be essential in all operational aspects of China’s electric power system as a whole. They will be supporting the large-scale development of new generation technologies and providing energy security for the entire country.
Currently, energy storage systems can find applications in all three main parts of an electric power system: generation, transmission, and end-users.
Regarding the generation side, energy storage systems complement both renewable energy systems and traditional thermal generation units by ensuring a stable and controllable level of output. By reducing the risks related to intermittency and malfunctions, energy storage systems improve the safety and reliability of most power plants.
Turning to the transmission side, energy storage systems for this kind of application have a higher technical standard with respect to product development, system installation, system integration, grid connection, and O&M. In particular, they have to be managed under a centralized control scheme in order to maximize their abilities to dispatch power and deal with emergencies. With the generation and load curves fluctuating more frequently and significantly in the future, more energy storage systems will be integrated into reginal grids.
Energy storage systems that serve end-users are smaller in storage capacity. However, they can be deployed directly and in large numbers to provide supply flexibility and distributed generation. End-users include businesses, factories, and homes. Through various energy storage technologies, end-users can lower their electricity bills, insure themselves against blackouts or brownouts, and contribute to the wider aim of reducing carbon emissions. At the same time, energy storage has become an important component of smart technology packages for upgrading business operations and home living.