Fluence has acquired Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) as part of push aimed at helping its utility, developer and commercial and industrial customers optimize their energy storage and renewable assets.
AMS’s software and technology platform uses artificial intelligence, advanced price forecasting, portfolio optimization and market bidding to ensure that energy storage systems and other flexible generation assets are responding optimally to power market price signals.
“Storage is the first truly digital asset that you can put on the electric network. That means the smarter we are with digital, the better job we can do powering the electric network,” Brett Galura, chief technology officer at the energy storage technology solution firm, Fluence said, declining to disclose the acquisition’s price tag.
For AMS, which is currently active in the California Independent System Operator market and in Australia’s National Electricity Market, the acquisition increases its reach.
“As the market is growing rapidly, scale is important to us,” Seyed Madaeni, AMS’s chief executive officer and Fluence’s chief digital officer said. Fluence is a Siemens and AES company, and – as the new Fluence Digital business unit – AMS will be able to leverage Fluence’s global sales reach and make its software available around the world, he pointed out.
“One philosophy that we had at AMS that resonates with Fluence is technology agnosticism,” Madaeni said. “We don’t care who the manufacturer is… we do our best to monetize the asset,” he added.
According to Galura, Fluence and AMS’s technology will work together to provide customers with the data-driven insights that maximize the value and performance of generation and storage assets to help make the whole grid smarter. Whereas Fluence’s technology can be used to reduce balance of system costs, AMS’s AI-enabled software can help maximize the return on investment of energy storage.
“The use of a battery has a cost, and we have spent the last few years understanding the marginal cost of operations of energy storage system… For many companies, approaching the market side of things, they don’t have those cost insights,” Galura said. “Adding AMS’ visibility into the market-facing revenue side of things will deliver a complete and highly accurate picture of assets to customers that improves asset flexibility and maximizes ROI,” he added. Having granular insights on an energy storage system or a flexible generation asset’s marginal costs on a weekly, daily, hourly, minute or second of operations can be useful for gaining a clear picture of costs and pricing, and it can help customers optimize their assets, he said.
“[Storage and flexible generation] assets are critical elements of a modern, sustainable grid. The more that we can take advantage of these assets, the faster that we can transform. And the smarter the assets, the smarter the grid,” said Madaeni.
The acquisition follows a year-long partnership between the companies.
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