Powin strikes 800MWh Borrego deal for US battery storage projects

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US large-scale solar PV and energy storage project company Borrego has chosen Powin Energy as supplier of battery storage, with the pair signing an 800MWh supply agreement.

It follows an announcement in February from Powin of framework agreements signed with four other developers for 5.8GWh of battery energy storage systems (BESS) to be supplied in 2022-2024. 

Between those deals and the latest Borrego agreement, Powin’s contracted pipeline for delivery is now more than three times the 2,000MWh of BESS the Oregon-headquartered manufacturer and systems integrator has built in the near-decade since its business launched. 

Powin’s Stack750E battery storage stack product will be used for Borrego’s projects. Stack750E is Powin’s modular stack solution, which fits into the company’s Centipede hardware platform — a way of combining multiple battery storage units.

Up to 200MWh of storage can be packed into a single acre footprint using Centipede, Powin claimed as the platform went onto the market last November, while the Stack750E is particularly well-suited to two-hour to four-hour duration applications. 

Borrego will use the Stack750E at utility-scale US projects featuring either standalone BESS or hybrid solar-plus-storage.

The developer, which also has operations and maintenance (O&M) and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) arms to its business is perhaps better known for its activities in solar PV, but has also since 2016 got 490MWh of utility-scale and commercial and industrial (C&I) battery storage in design, construction or already in operation. 

Powin referred to large multi-year supply agreements it has in place with China-based battery cell manufacturers CATL and EVE Energy as evidence of the robustness of its supply chain in the face of ongoing global challenges. 

The system integrator recently also said that Centipede hardware will be manufactured by OEM company Celestica out of facilities in Mexico, which brings the battery storage integrator’s assembly and testing much closer to some of its major demand centres in North America.

Slimmed down strategy for Powin and rivals

Powin Energy was ranked fifth worldwide in a survey of energy storage system integrators for its projects completed and planned during 2021, by analysis group IHS Markit. 

In a recent interview with Energy-Storage.news, IHS Markit analyst Oliver Forsyth said that the launch of Centipede is a sign that Powin, like many of its rivals in the industry, is bringing out hardware platforms that simplify the project design and installation process and bring down costs with their modularity and standardisation.

Among those are Fluence, which brought out its Fluence Cube, Wärtsilä has Gridsolv Quantum, and now Powin has Centipede, Forsyth noted. 

“We’re seeing these slimmed down solutions, really trying to optimise space, manage how much balance of plant you need per battery module, making sure that your fire suppression systems is maximised across as many solutions as you can.

“Trying to minimise the containerisation and really trying to slim down on the amount of metal you’re using there, to really try to optimise costs.”

That trend is expected to continue, the analyst said, adding that with its announcement of placing manufacturing in North American territories, Powin will continue to try and minimise costs by building solutions “as locally as possible. 

A competitive advantage Powin Energy has that other system integrators and new entrants to the market may also try and follow is that the Oregon-headquartered company has its own battery management system (BMS) technology, Forsyth said. 

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