Czech-headquartered mega-utility invests in Sonnenbatterie
20 July 2015: Sonnenbatterie, the German maker of domestic and commercial battery-based energy storage systems, has secured investment to aid its growth from a subsidiary of Czech-headquartered multi-national CEZ Group.
The announcement follows the company’s official entry into the US market in the second week of July, as it opened five new channel distribution partners across the country. The company’s product range spans 4.5kWh residential systems up to commercial units of as much as 200kWh capacity, made up by smaller 200kWh blocks. The company is considered one of Europe’s market leaders, with around 8,000 systems sold.
PV Tech Storage spoke with Boris von Bormann, CEO of Sonnenbatterie’s US subsidiary at Intersolar Europe in June, when von Bormann introduced the commercial units the company is marketing in North America, mainly to help businesses save money by shaving the peaks of their electricity use. Sonnenbatterie is currently seeking further channel partners to exclusively distribute its products in regions of the US.
CEZ Group spinoff INVEN Capital has invested an undisclosed amount into Sonnenbatterie, CEZ Group and the storage manufacturer announced yesterday. CEZ Group is a huge conglomerate operating in central and eastern Europe and runs INVEN Capital through its CEZ New Energy division.
Manz sees storage positivity, driven by EVs
20 July 2015: Further upstream, another German energy storage company has said this week that it is seeing “continuing positive development” in the sector.
Manz AG, the hi-tech equipment supplier which operates solar, energy storage and electronics businesses, claims that recent order volumes confirm the “high potential” of the energy storage industry.
The company announced that it has recently received several follow-up orders worth around EUR50 million, some of which will be added to the balance of this year’s accounts and some to next year’s. Manz claims the new orders build on EUR40 million of orders already received toward the start of this year.
Innovative solutions for lithium-ion batteries are being sought by customers of the consumer electronics industry, where the company says improvements in battery lifetime and reductions in size and weight enabled by Manz’s products are giving the company’s clients a competitive advantage. Manz can produce battery packs across a range of sizes and form factors.
Company CEO and founder Dieter Manz said that his company had seen increasing customer activity from the consumer electronics and e-mobility sectors.
AES eyes 250MW Philippines storage projects
19 July 2015: The Philippines-based subsidiary of AES Corporation is reportedly mulling plans to build 250MW of large-scale energy storage facilities in the Southeast Asian country.
The Manilla Times reported on Sunday that AES Philippines Power Partners intends the projects to play into the ancillary services market for grid balancing, or to act as reserve capacity.
The Times wrote that according to AES Philippines managing director Neeraj Bhat, options are being considered in Luzon, Viasaya and Mindanao for between 200MW and 250MW of battery-based storage projects.
However, the paper also said that a 40MW AES battery system in the province of Negros Occidental is still waiting to go ahead with the company awaiting guidance from the country’s National Grid Corporation on how it should be contracted to sell the ancillary services it is intended to provide. AES recently completed its first energy storage project in Europe, which will join the Dutch Primary Control Reserve market.