KHNP CEO Whang Joo-ho, second from left, holds an agreement along with Donghae City Mayor Sim Gyu-eon, third from left, Dream Engineering CEO Oh Jin-taek, right, and KIER Vice chief Yang Tae-hyun, left, during a signing ceremony for cooperation in the SGP generation at the Courtyard by Marriott Seoul Namdaemun Hotel on May 12.

Potential of salinity gradient power generation will be demonstrated

Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) announced on May 12 that it had kicked off a project to demonstrate the world’s largest salinity gradient power (SGP) generation.

Toward that end, the Korean nuclear giant signed a memorandum of understanding with Donghae City, Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER), and Dream Engineering.

Under the four-way alliance, they are scheduled to build the world’s first 100 kW-class SGP complex.

Based on the agreement, KHNP is set to oversee comprehensive project management related to the demonstration of 100 kW-class SGP.

Donghae City will provide land for the demonstration complex and support for licensing, while KIER will provide various support, including overall technology, and Dream Engineering will be in charge of the power plant design.

SGP refers to the energy created from the difference in the salt concentration between seawater and fresh water.

Unlike photovoltaic or wind power generation, as SGP generation is not subject to much variability in electrical energy production, it can be used as a renewable energy source for base load, according to KHNP.

In particular, SGP technology enables convenient energy conversion, thus storing energy for a longer period of time than a battery.

KHNP noted that the technology also had the benefit of producing hydrogen without water electrolysis. It is expected to contribute to the efficiency of seawater desalination facilities.

“KHNP will take the lead in supplying clean and stable energy by successfully demonstrating SGP generation, which is considered an uncharted territory,” KHNP CEO Whang Joo-ho said.

“We will continue to develop various new technologies to realize carbon neutrality and foster the future energy industry.”