Global battery energy storage system (BESS) integrator Fluence is setting up a new contract manufacturing facility in Utah to serve the US market.
The facility will start shipping Fluence Cubes from September 2022. The Cube is the building block of its Gridstack, Sunstack, and Edgestack energy storage products and uses LFP-280LC (lithium iron phosphate) battery modules from supplier CATL, according to a datasheet.
Capacity of the facility will start at 75 Cubes per week with plans to rise to 150 per week. The company said the launch will expand its production beyond Asia, better serve delivery to the US market and address ongoing supply chain constraints.
Fluence’s competitor Powin Energy also recently opened a local contract manufacturing facility with Celestica to serve the US market, in Mexico. Fluence has not revealed the manufacturer it has partnered with for the Utah site.
Lead times for project deliveries across the energy storage sector have increased substantially in the last 18 months due to supply chain constraints, including massive delays unloading at US ports, and localising assembly is a way to get around this.
“At a time when the energy storage industry has seen increased supply chain disruptions, this production hub will be particularly important in strengthening business continuity and improving flexibility for meeting customer needs,” said Fluence SVP & chief supply chain and manufacturing officer Carol Couch.
The company, which IPOed late last year, has also created ‘spare parts hubs’ in Utah and Ireland which are already operational. It said these will support ongoing operations and maintenance of its customers’ energy storage assets through a new service called Fluence Spares Direct, and are strategically positioned near large storage markets. The company is very active in the Irish market but also the rest of Western Europe.
Alongside these, the system integrator is opening a new product testing lab in Pennsylvania in August which will provide system-level testing of its energy storage products.
“The markets we serve have unique use cases, customer needs and regulatory requirements, and these new facilities are an expansion of the ongoing regionalisation of our operations,” said Couch.
It also recently set up a tech centre in India where a team of experts will work on engineering of enclosures, batteries and inverters, software quality assurance and product management.