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ROUNDUP: Fluence in Philippines, Asahi Kasei’s US$100 million VC funds, Leclanché builds LeBlock

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News in brief from around the word in energy storage with another edition of the Energy-Storage.news roundup.

Fluence at finish line of 570MW Philippines projects

After Philippines president Ferdinand Marcos Jr celebrated the country’s biggest buildout of battery storage to date, energy storage technology and services provider Fluence has noted the role it played.

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As reported by Energy-Storage.news earlier this month, the president attended a ceremonial switch-on event for a grid-scale battery storage installation as it came online for power company SMC Global Power.

SMC Global Power is building 1,000MW/1,000MWh of battery energy storage system (BESS) assets, deploying them at the sites of existing thermal power plants in its portfolio to provide grid-stabilising ancillary services like frequency and voltage regulation.

On the occasion of Marcos’ visit, the company noted that it aimed to have the full 1,000MW of BESS commissioned by the end of this year.

Fluence and fellow energy storage system integrators Wärtsilä and ABB were hired by SMC Global Power to deliver the projects through engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts.

Fluence got the largest share of those awards, responsible for 470MW of the portfolio. Shortly after the presidential visit, the company pointed out that it had completed those projects, which were distributed across 18 sites.

Adding this to the Philippines’ first-ever grid-scale BESS, a 10MW system which Fluence delivered for SMC Global Power at its Masinloc coal power plant a few years ago, and other projects, the multinational technology group has worked on 570MW completed projects in the country, it said. 

Asahi Kasei to invest US$100 million in carbon neutrality startups

Asahi Kasei, which played a key role in the invention and commercialisation of the lithium-ion battery, has pledged to invest in climate tech including energy storage.

The Japanese company said today that it has established a new “investment framework” to allow it to invest in early-stage startups focused on carbon neutrality and solving environmental issues, through its corporate venture capital (CVC) activities.

Asahi Kasei’s CVC offices have been based in California’s Silicon Valley since 2011, investing in startups and forming joint venture (JV) businesses with them. Launched three years prior to that, the CVC arm has in total invested in 50 startups in the US, Europe, China and Japan.

However, it said its activities to date have come under a brand of ‘Care for people’, advancing areas such as life sciences. These areas, including Internet of Things (IOT) and healthcare, have relatively short runways to commercialisation, whereas climate investments, to come under a banner of ‘Care for Earth’, have much longer-term prospects.

At the same time, climate technologies such as hydrogen and energy storage do not yet have established supply chains in place.

These two dynamics have led to the company launching its new framework for ‘Care for Earth’, with Asahi Kasei pledging to invest US$100 million from now until the end of the 2027 financial year in companies working in fields including energy storage, hydrogen, carbon management and bio-based chemicals.  

Leclanché completes first installation of LeBlock modular BESS

Leclanché has made the first deployment of its modular battery energy storage system (BESS) solution, ‘LeBlock,’ at a microgrid on a Mediterranean island.

The Switzerland-headquartered battery storage technology company said last week that delivery, installation and commissioning have been completed on the project, which features 1.2MW output and 1.6MWh of battery capacity.

While its location has not been disclosed, Leclanché did say that the project was for a Greek transmission system operator (TSO), and that the BESS will maximise energy consumption from an adjacently-installed onsite solar PV array.

LeBlock was launched in May 2021, with an Energy-Storage.news webinar and an exclusive interview with Leclanché VP for system engineering Daniel Fohr and EMEA region sales and business development manager Cyril Carpentier to explain the concepts behind its design.

The solution features 5ft cube-like BatteryBlocks, battery containers that can be slotted together to create different sizes and configurations, with each row of BatteryBlocks plugged into a CombiBlock, which includes cooling, thermal management and energy management system (EMS) and battery management system (BMS) components.

Leclanché’s LeBlock features BatteryBlocks (green stripe) linked together with a CombiBlock (orange stripe). Image: Leclanché.

Energy-Storage.news’ publisher Solar Media will host the 1st Energy Storage Summit Asia, 11-12 July 2023 in Singapore. The event will help give clarity on this nascent, yet quickly growing market, bringing together a community of credible independent generators, policymakers, banks, funds, off-takers and technology providers. For more information, go to the website.

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