Gransolar’s first BESS project in Australia will be optimised by Fluence software

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Fluence’s software for optimising the market performance of energy storage and renewable energy assets will be used at the first battery storage project in Australia by Spain’s Gransolar Group. 

Gransolar’s energy storage division, E22, contracted the energy storage technology and services provider to deploy the Fluence IQ Bidding Application at a 5MW/7.5MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) asset in Longwarry, Victoria, Australia.

Fluence said this morning that the asset is expected to be energised in the middle of this year. The BESS is being deployed to support distribution network operator Ausnet during times of high congestion in summer through a Network Support Agreement.

During the rest of the year the battery system will participate in wholesale markets in the National Electricity Market (NEM) which offers opportunities for storage to deliver revenues through frequency control ancillary services (FCAS) and arbitrage.

It will be Fluence IQ’s job to forecast market activity and control the battery dispatch, maximising revenues from wholesale opportunities while ensuring the system is always ready to perform its distribution network support duties.

“As grid-scale energy storage plays an increasing role in Australia’s clean energy transition, we see a growing need for AI-based bidding software to manage these renewable assets,” Fluence chief digital officer Seyed Madaeni said.

“Co-optimising the full value stack of wholesale market participation simultaneously with the demands of a network support agreement is a complex task that requires a powerful software layer.”

While it is a relatively small project by either company’s standards, Fluence said the contract marks its software’s first use in the market for smaller grid-scale energy storage of 5MW or under, which it called an exciting and emerging market segment.

Gransolar meanwhile is developing around 1,000MWh of battery storage worldwide across its group companies.

Fluence added 250MW of Fluence IQ contracts in the first quarter of this year alone, adding to 2,744MW of contracts for the software signed during 2021. One of the software’s advantages as an offering is that it can be used to optimise renewable energy assets as well as energy storage.

In February reported that it had been contracted for 320MW of wind and solar in Australia for the energy arm of telecoms company Telstra. A couple of weeks before that one of Fluence’s owners, AES Corporation, contracted for Fluence IQ to optimise a 1.1GW portfolio of US solar and storage assets

At the moment, the platform is only available in Australia’s NEM and the California market, but the company has said it is expecting to roll it out globally from this year. 

In an interview to mark the end of 2021, Fluence CEO Manuel Perez Dubuc told this site the company had seen “significant demand for digital products that optimise assets – both renewable and storage”.

“The business model and economics of combining energy storage plus services plus digital optimisation is powerful, and we expect interest in that type of combination offering to grow,” he said.  

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