SEOUL -- As part of its push for establishing a hydrogen business value chain encompassing transportation, construction and other industries, South Korea's Hyundai auto group partnered with LS Electric, a power system and automation company, to develop a fuel cell power generation system targeting the global market. They aim to launch a demonstration system in 2021.
Under a memorandum of understanding, Hyundai will provide its proprietary fuel cell system and technical support, while LS Electric will manufacturing a power generation system and establish integrated solutions. They would develop a power generation system that enables immediate output control when necessary.
Hyundai and LS Electric aim to unveil a system that can be used to cope with emergency and peak-time power generation, reduce grid load, and address variability and grid instability in the supply and demand of renewable energy.
"The hydrogen fuel cell power generation system to be completed through this agreement has the advantage of being able to actively respond to changes in electricity supply and demand," said LS Electric's global business head Oh Jae-seok. "Based on this cooperation, we will be able to supply the system not only to South Korea but also to the global power market in the future."
Because of its eco-friendly characteristics, fuel cells are considered the next-generation renewable power source. In September, Hyundai began shipping its fuel cell system for non-automotive companies in Europe to produce a stationary power supply system and mobile generators.
"We are pushing for the application of our hydrogen fuel cell system to various areas," said Kim Sae-hoon, head of the auto group's fuel cell center. "The cooperation is the first step toward the full-scale expansion of the fuel cell market for power generation."
South Korea is investing heavily to utilize hydrogen fuel cells as a new power source. In September 2019, SK Engineering & Construction, a unit of South Korea's SK Group, signed a joint venture agreement with Bloom Energy, an American public company, to produce solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). A SOFC power plant needs an energy storage system (ESS) to store electricity.
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