First revealed last July, Fluence – an energy storage tie-up between U.S. energy company AES and Germany’s Siemens – received U.S. government approval and licensing on January 1, 2018.
The newly created company will focus on energy storage technology and services, and begins life with a head-turning inaugural project: Fluence will supply lithium-ion batteries to a 100 MW/400 MWh battery storage project in Long Beach, Los Angeles, as part of AES’s Alamitos power center.
This is more than double the capacity of the largest battery system deployed in the United States to date, a 40 MW system in Alaska.
The storage facility, once commissioned, will deliver power to Southern California Edison and the Western Los Angeles area, Fluence confirmed, building upon AES’s installed base of nearly 500 MW of deployed storage capacity globally.
Both Siemens and AES are providing generous financial support to Fluence as the new company seeks to carve out a share for itself in the burgeoning energy storage and services market. Products that will be marketed on the Fluence platform include Siestorage, AES’s Advancion, and the SunFlex Energy Storage system, which is a Fluence original that pairs solar PV with a lithium-ion battery.
Fluence CEO and president Stephen Coughlin said that the synergies, strengths and potent brand of both Siemens and AES will ensure Fluence can deliver an “industrial grade solution that customers can count on to be there in the future”.
Coughlin added: “With a team drawn from both Siemens and AES, we are fluent in the power sector and bring the capabilities, global reach and experience to make sure our customers achieve the full value of storage.”
The Alamitos project builds upon a growing bank of battery installations that Fluence will directly or indirectly support, including a 40 MW lithium-ion battery system for San Diego Gas & Electric; a microgrid for the Mediterranean island of Ventotene for Italian utility Enel; six storage projects for frequency regulation across Germany; two 10 MW battery projects for the Dominican Republic, and three additional backup power units at solar-rich sites in Arizona.
According to IHS Markit senior research manager Sam Wilkinson, the global storage industry has entered a new growth phase that will result in much jostling for market dominance – and could lead to further mergers and acquisitions as the sector consolidates. “The companies best positioned for success will require a proven track record, technology expertise, a global service network and an ability to serve a broad set of energy storage applications,” Wilkinson said.