Siemens, AES join hands on storage

Siemens, AES join hands on storage”

German engineering group Siemens AG (ETR:SIE) and U.S. power company AES Corp (NYSE:AES) have agreed to form a 50/50 energy storage joint venture, called Fluence, to better serve the growing global energy storage market.

Siemens' energy storage system can act as a buffer in electrical power grids. AES also owns seven utilities - two in the US - and has a generation portfolio of more than 30 GW. In addition to its United States headquarters, Fluence will have offices in Erlangen, Germany and other select cities.

Andrés Gluski, AES President and CEO, said the deal would help further strengthen the company's position in a fast-expanding market. The companies are bringing together their AES Advancion and Siemens Siestorage energy storage platforms to provide customers with "an industry-leading suite of choices", they said in a joint press release.

Demand for large-scale energy storage is growing as the price of advanced batteries tumble and nations turn to renewable energy such as solar and wind.

Gluski said Fluence expects to maintain the same base of American, Korean and Japanese battery suppliers as AES.

In talking up the two partners' respective strengths, Siemens said it can bring its experience and track record of working with microgrids and islanding applications, installations running on a hybrid of renewable and conventional generation technologies, black start capability (starting up thermal generators that have come offline), consumer peak shaving as a commercial service as well as the German-headquartered company's background as an OEM (original equipment manufacturer).

Gluski said he could not say who top management would be until the company finishes undergoing regulatory processes later this year.

The agreement will deliver one of the world's largest energy storage specialists with the two companies having to date deployed 48 projects boasting 463MW of capacity across 13 countries.

Citing IHS Markit, Siemens and AES say the grid-connected energy storage sector is expected to expand from a total installed capacity of 3 GW at the end of 2016 to 28 GW by 2022. "Fluence will fill this major gap in the market, offering a valuable mix of experience, technology expertise and reach".

AES and Siemens now account for about 17 percent of installed energy storage, said Kevin Yates, president of Siemens' energy management division. "With the global reach of an experienced worldwide sales force as well as Siemens' leading technology platform Siestorage at its disposal, Fluence will be perfectly equipped to serve this very interesting market", said Ralf Christian, CEO of Siemens' Energy Management Division.

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