A Look at China’s 2018 New Market Competitors


According to statistics from CNESA’s Global Energy Storage Project Database, in the first half of 2018, China’s new operational electrochemical energy storage capacity totaled 100.4MW, an increase of 127% from the same time the previous year.  Newly added electrochemical projects either planned or under construction totaled 2251.1MW.  With the scale of energy storage projects rapidly increasing, the market has seen a number of new players eager to make their name in a variety of energy storage applications.

I.       Frequency Regulation/Ancillary Services

Combined thermal power and energy storage frequency regulation projects continue to thrive in 2018 through the activities of numerous market competitors:

1.       WLY Group (万里扬集团有限公司)

In June, WLY group won a bid to supply Guangdong Yudean Power Generation Co. with a 9MW/4.5MWh combined thermal generation and energy storage frequency regulation project.  The winning bidder is responsible for engineering that includes equipment and debugging, electrical testing, grid connection, etc.  Construction on the project began in July.  The project signifies WLY Group’s formal entrance into the ancillary services market.  WLY was China’s first auto transmission company to go public.  The company provides transmissions for use in passenger cars and commercial vehicles, as well as drive systems for electric vehicles and interior components.

2.       Huatai Energy (Beijing) Tech.Co.,LTD (华泰慧能(北京)能源技术有限公司)

In August, Huatai Energy won an EPC bid to supply Inner Mongolia Power Generation Co. (IMEIGC) with a 9MW/4.5MWh frequency regulation project.  The project distributes shared earnings from AGC compensation. Huatai Energy was founded in 2016 and specializes in energy storage technologies.

3.       Zhejiang Wanke Renewable Energy Technology Co. (浙江万克新能源科技有限公司)

In May, Inner Mongolia Power Generation Investment Group announced the candidates for bidding on the new 9MW/4.5MWh frequency regulation project at the Wusitai thermal plant.  Wanke beat out both Narada and Shenzhen Advanced Clean Energy Technology Research Co. for the bid.  According to publicly released information on the tender, although Wanke’s proposed cost of 39,800,000 RMB for the project was higher than Narada’s proposed 37,500,000 RMB, Wanke’s proposal of a 50-50 share of investments return with the plant owner went far beyond the traditional return of 70-80% for the investor and 20-30% for the plant owner.  Wanke Renewable Energy was founded in 2015.  This project is the first domestic energy storage project for the company.


II.       Behind-the-meter

Wiscom (江苏金智竞泰储能科技有限公司)

In August, Wiscom released plans to construct a 500kW/1000kWh behind-the-meter energy storage system at the Huitong screw factory in Qidong.  The project is a collaborative development between Wiscom, the Huitong screw factory, and State Grid Jiangsu Energy Services Co.  Wiscom is an energy storage company formed in June of this year by a cooperative investment of 50,000,000 RMB between four energy companies.


III.       Grid-side

1.        Golmud Meiman Renewable Energy Technology Co. (格尔木美满新能源科技有限公司)

In July, Golmud Meiman begin construction of its 16MW/64MWh grid-side energy storage project at the Haixi 110KV Baiyang substation.  The project is the first grid-side energy storage project lead by State Grid Qinghai, and the first grid-side project for Golmud Meiman.

2.       Xi’an Actionpower Electric Co.,Ltd.  西安爱科赛博电气股份有限公司

In August, Henan Power Grid announced a call for bids for the second round of equipment purchases for its 100.8MW/100.8MWh battery storage demonstration project.  This second round of bids seeks 59 sets of energy storage equipment.  Bidders during the first round included well known energy storage companies such as EVE, ZTT, and Lishen, among others.  During this second round of bidding, Actionpower submitted bids to supply four containerized energy storage systems at the Xinyang energy storage station.  The company’s total bidding was more than 900,000 RMB lower than that of EVE.   Actionpower was founded in 1996.  The company is currently expanding from its main business focus of power inverters and power control products to explore renewable energy and smart microgrid technologies.  Actionpower’s bid for the Xinyang energy storage power station marks the company’s first foray into energy storage.


Active players in the 2018 energy storage market include specialized energy storage companies such as Huatai Energy and Wiscom, as well as companies heavily involved in renewable energy and/or the power industry that have recently begun expanding into energy storage activities, such as Golmud Meiman, Vanke Renewables, and Actionpower.  Other new players even include electric vehicle manufacturers such as WLY Group that have begun investing in storage projects.

In terms of market strategies, these players have frequently used low-costs to gain an advantage in the market.  These competitors have expanded the traditional project earnings models while exploring new and varied storage business models

Author: Cao Zhengxin
Translation: George Dudley