Hyundai plant to host solar facility

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Hyundai plant to host solar facility

Hyundai Motor will build a solar energy facility in collaboration with the government at its factory in Ulsan, the carmaker announced Thursday.

In partnership with the Ulsan metropolitan government and the state-run energy company Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP), Hyundai Motor will set up a solar energy facility at its Ulsan factory by 2020. The solar facility will be able to generate 35 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of power a year.

It will be the first public-private solar energy project in Korea. The project is designed to meet the government’s initiative to boost the portion of renewable energy in Korea to 20 percent by the year of 2030.

Hyundai Motor will be in charge of leasing the space and making investments in it. The carmaker did not disclose the amount of investment it will make. The city of Ulsan will be in charge of handling administrative issues. The KHNP will be in charge of managing the facility, and it will also invest in it. The facility will be set up in a 260,000-square-meter (64-acre) site inside the Ulsan facility that is currently being used as storage yard for cars and a test track. Since the solar energy facility will be built on a roof, the current function of the site will be maintained.

When construction finishes in 2020, the facility will have a daily capacity of 27 megawatts. It will be able to generate 35 million kWh of electricity per year, which is enough for around 10,000 households. According to the carmaker, the amount of energy generated is equivalent to around 8,000 tons of imported crude oil.

Hyundai Motor and KHNP plan to expand the facility to increase its daily capacity to 100 megawatts.

“Hyundai Motor plans to link the company’s electric mobility business with solar energy by utilizing the recycled battery from the vehicles as an energy storage system,” the company said in a statement.

This is not the first time that Hyundai Motor has entered the solar energy business. In 2013, it partnered with another company to build a solar energy facility at its Asan factory. It can generate 11.5 million kWh electricity per year.

“Through this project, we wish to establish a business model where a private and public company can collaborate,” said Chung Jae-hoon, the president of KHNP.

The KHNP plans to invest a total of 20 trillion won ($18 billion) by 2030 to establish a renewable energy facility centered on solar energy and wind power that can generate 7.6 gigawatts of power in total.

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