The Energy Storage Report 2024

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Fluence sees record order intake but records loss in Q1 2024

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Global battery energy storage system (BESS) integrator Fluence saw a record order intake of US$1.1 billion in the first quarter of its 2024 financial year, but its finances slipped back into a net loss, possibly reflecting seasonality.

Nasdaq-listed Fluence saw revenue grow 17% year-on-year to US$364.0 million in the three months to 31 December, 2023, the first quarter of its new 2024 financial year. It saw a record intake of US$1.1 billion but a net loss of US$25.6 million for the period.

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Revenue was down around 50% compared to the previous quarter, its Q4 2023, when it reached US$673 million. That period also saw it hit a positive net profit figure, for the first time, of US$4.8 million, which CEO Julian Nebreda called a ‘transformative milestone’.

The quarter-on-quarter revenue fall and slip back into a net loss likely reflects seasonality, with the same phenomenon seen in its Q1 2023 (revenue fell 30% quarter-on-quarter and the net loss widened, while the figures improved year-on-year). Its net loss in Q1 2023 was US$37.2 million, which the Q1 2024 figure bettered by 32%.

Commenting on its latest results, Nebreda said: “We continue to see a very robust market for energy storage, which is enabling the global energy transition to a clean energy grid.

“Additionally, we expect to start our battery module production at our Utah manufacturing facility in the summer of this year, and we expect a gradual ramp up of production over the subsequent quarters. By manufacturing our own battery modules with domestic content, we expect this will further improve our competitive position and allow us and our customers to benefit from incentives under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022.

The relatively low year-on-year growth (compared to most other recent quarters) may reflect the new approach Fluence has taken since Nebreda took the helm in September 2022 to focus on ‘profitable growth’, with one analyst at the time characterising the company’s earlier growth, under previous CEO Manuel Pérez Dubuc, as more of a ‘land-and-expand’ strategy.

The company is reaffirming its full-year guidance for the 2024 fiscal year, of US$2.7-3.3 billion and adjusted EBITDA of US$50-80 million.

Highlights during the Q1 2024 period include Australian utility Origin Energy enlisting the firm for a 300MW/650MWh BESS in Victoria and a 60MW/80MWh BESS it provided in Taiwan entering commercial operation.

Less of a highlight, but still noteworthy, was the breaking of a story by Energy-Storage.news that the company is in the midst of a claim and counterclaim suit with a US customer (Premium access) for its engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) work on a BESS project in California.

Energy-Storage.news’ publisher Solar Media will host the 9th annual Energy Storage Summit EU in London, 20-21 February 2024. This year it is moving to a larger venue, bringing together Europe’s leading investors, policymakers, developers, utilities, energy buyers and service providers all in one place. Visit the official site for more info.

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