SK Inc. and SK Energy announced on Aug. 18 that they would acquire the management rights of U.S. energy solution company “Atom Power” for $150 million (about 200 billion won).
‘Energy solution’ refers to technology that helps to produce and consume electricity most effectively.
SK Inc., SK Energy, and Atom Power management signed an agreement on Aug. 17 to acquire SK's stake at SK Seorin Building in Jongno-gu, Seoul.
Head Kim Moo-hwan of SK Inc.'s Green Investment Center, Head Kang Dong-soo of SK Energy's S&P (Solution & Platform) Promotion Team, and CEO Ryan Kennedy of Atom Power attended the event.
Atom Power established in 2014 has developed 'Solid State Circuit Breaker (SSCB)' technology and is conducting energy solution business and electric vehicle (EV) charging business in the United States.
Unlike general circuit breakers that only block current when power overload occurs, it also measures and collects power usage data as an intermediate gateway for each generation of power. This is thanks to the current sensor and software developed by Atom Power.
The data collected by Atom Power's circuit breaker is diverse, such as power usage, solar power generation, electric vehicle charging, and ESS charging/discharging.
The power big data collected by the circuit breaker can be used to predict the power generation and consumption patterns of each generation as well as regional units.
If Atom Power's supply of circuit breakers expands, power producers can predict the appropriate amount of power generation and consumers can predict the price of electricity, which is expected to increase benefits in the energy market.
Atom Power's circuit breaker can also be used for EV chargers. The advantage is that the installation cost, area, and management cost can all be greatly reduced.
This is because, unlike the existing method that requires an individual circuit breaker per charger, it can be constructed in a structure in which several small circuit breakers are integrated into one central panel.
It is also possible to operate a charging station within the existing power capacity without expanding power facilities.
Atom Power's circuit breakers are the only ones in this field to obtain 'UL Certification', a product performance and safety certification from the United States.
Atom Power's technology is expected to help SK build an 'energy solution platform' at home and abroad in the future.
The future power industry is evolving from a centralized type to a distributed type, and in order to realize the distributed power industry smarter, it is essential to secure a solution that analyzes and controls information of power providers and consumers such as generation and consumption.
Atom Power's technology has differentiated competitiveness in hardware and software, which are essential for securing distributed power solutions.
It is expected to be applied in various markets including EV charging infrastructure and domestic and commercial buildings in the future.
In particular, SK Energy plans to expand its mobility platform services such as gasoline, car wash, and maintenance to EV customers, and to utilize Atom Power's EV charger development capabilities to integrate eco-friendly mobility and energy solutions.
The advantage of Atom Power's EV charger is that it can be made into the shape customers want by mounting only the minimum essential parts such as cables.
SK Energy plans to combine this with its long-standing know-how in operating gas and charging stations.
The company plans to establish an EV charging base optimized for the space, focusing on apartment houses such as apartments where several cars are parked for a long time, and large complex shopping malls, and to promote projects such as providing additional services related to them at home and abroad.
Atom Power CEO Ryan Kennedy said, “Atom Power's technology is suitable for both upgrading all power grids and expanding the EV market. We look forward to working with SK to expand our business to more customers.”
“We will acquire the core technology of the energy solution business through the acquisition of Atom Power, and we will use it as a stepping stone to find energy solution platform implementation and various business opportunities,” said Head Kim Moo-hwan of SK Inc.’s Green Investment Center.
“As the No.1 domestic oil market operator, SK Energy’s know-how and its differentiated technological competitiveness in the energy solution sector will meet to create a win-win effect that will be a great force for SK Energy to become an eco-friendly energy solution and mobility platform operator,” said Director Kang Dong-su of SK Energy’s S&P Promotion Team.