AES, Siemens Form Joint Venture to ‘Massify’ Their Energy Storage Operations
Tesla Motors is getting a run for its money in its effort to dominate the global energy storage business as industry powerhouses AES and Siemens form Fluence, a joint venture that will deliver commercial and grid-scale storage around the world.
“We have to massify this product to continue to bring down costs,” AES CEO Andrés Gluski told Greentech Media. “On long-duration systems, we think we’re the most competitive in the market, but we’ll be even more competitive if we’re even larger.”
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“The unprecedented move marks a pre-emptive consolidation of power in a young industry,” Greentech notes. “AES started deploying large utility-scale storage a decade ago, making it a seasoned veteran in the new and emerging advanced energy storage world.” Siemens, a supplier of heavy-duty grid equipment for more than a century, has a global footprint that “includes a sales presence in 160 countries with deep ties to utility, industrial, and commercial customers.”
“If you look at our energy business, we’re very well connected with all the leading utility players in the world,” said Siemens Energy’s Dan Wishnick. “It’s a rare customer we haven’t touched in some shape or fashion.”
GTM Research Storage Director Ravi Manghani said that network might give Fluence its most important leg up in the emerging energy storage market.
“There are several positives,” he said: “Close to instantaneous product-to-market capability, and prompt post-sales servicing which can result in improved system uptime and availability to participate in multiple markets.”
If Fluence succeeds, “it will easily be the most geographically distributed grid storage development venture,” notes Greentech staff writer Julian Spector. “The two companies together claim 463 megawatts deployed across 48 projects in 13 countries. Competitors will have to consider whether their success lies in owning a particular region, or chasing Fluence into a global theatre of operations.”