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Guam Power Authority signs up for 40 MW of energy storage

The Guam Power Authority has signed an agreement with storage provider LG CNS of South Korea to provide the island utility with 40 megawatts of energy storage in a deal that GPA's general manager said will greatly help with system frequency issues.

LG CNS - a subsidiary of LG Corp - said in a news release that it will build two storage systems for the public power utility: a 24-MW system for frequency regulation at a substation in the village of Agana, and a 16-MW system for renewable integration at a substation in the village of Talofofo that is connected to an existing solar farm.

"This investment will help alleviate system frequency issues, forced outages and support renewable integration," said GPA General Manager John M. Benavente. "Our ratepayers typically experience short outages whenever a generator trips in the system in order for us to avoid a blackout."

It is estimated that the energy storage systems "would eliminate about 77 percent of those outages, thereby substantially improving service reliability to our ratepayers," he said.

Under terms of the agreement, LG CNS is responsible for delivering the storage systems on a turnkey basis within 12 months. The systems will utilize LG Chem lithium-ion batteries and LG CNS's energy management system to provide frequency regulation and solar photovoltaic ramp rate control. LG CNS also will operate and maintain the storage projects for 25 years, under the agreement.

The project "will reduce the intermittent power outages Guam is experiencing due to increasing net metering penetration and utility scale renewable projects," said LG CNS in its news release. "Further, the project will help GPA prepare the grid as it works toward reaching a renewable goal of 25 percent by 2035."

LG CNS said the Guam project "is of strategic importance" to the company, noting that the island, a territory of the U.S., could act as a base for the firm to expand into other markets, including Hawaii and the U.S. mainland, as well as Australia, and Southeast Asia.

"This is GPA's phase one project, and we are now in a strong position for more success in upcoming opportunities," Tae Seok Ha, LG CNS vice president of smart energy, said in the news release.

As an island 3,000 miles away from the nearest main land mass, "Guam is positioned to become a prime example of the growing global microgrid market for isolated electric utilities," said LG CNS, adding that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's Paris Agreement "has triggered interest in renewable energy-based, self-sustainable microgrids."