Utility scale solar-plus-storage with sodium-sulfur batteries in Mongolia


A consortium led by Japanese engineering company JGC Holdings has been awarded the contract to build Mongolia's first utility scale solar-plus-storage power plant by the country's Ministry of Energy.

The 5 MW / 3.6 MWh power plant will be built in partnership with Mongolian EPC contractor MCS International LLC, Japanese ceramics company and network attached storage (NAS) provider NGK Insulators Ltd, which will provide its large-scale sodium-sulfur-based battery systems for the project. “NGK's NAS batteries are capable of storing electricity even in extremely cold and extremely hot environments and were suitable for the weather conditions in Mongolia,” Yuki Ichihara, of JGC Holdings' Group Development Management Department, told pv magazine.

“NGK believes that the order for this project was won as a result of strong evaluations of NAS batteries’ ability to offer a large capacity and long discharge time, along with NGK’s extensive delivery and long-term operational track records,” the Japanese battery provider said in a separate statement.

The plant will be located in Uliastai, in Mongolia's Zavkhan Province, and will come online in the spring of 2022, the company said.

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The project is being financed by the Asian Development Bank and the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM), which was established by the Japanese Ministry of Environment at the Asian Development Bank itself.

The tender for the project was launched by the Mongolian authorities in February 2020. It is part of the Upscaling Renewable Energy Sector Project, which aims to deploy 40.5 MW of solar and wind capacity in the country’s western and Altai-Uliastai regions.

Mongolia’s installed PV capacity stood at just 89 MW at the end of 2019, according to statistics published by the International Renewable Energy Agency. In 2017, Mongolia had to import around 20% of its necessary electricity.

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