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Siemens and AES form energy storage JV Fluence aimed at 160 countries

Siemens’ Siestorage. Image: Siemens.

Fluence, a new energy storage company, has been launched jointly by global engineering giant Siemens and energy storage system integrator and developer AES.

Fluence will be an energy storage technology and services provider, if and when the partnership goes through regulatory approvals, with the transaction to form the company expected to close in the final quarter of this year.

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Siemens claimed in a statement today that together it and AES will be able to target customers in “over 160 countries,” based on Siemens’ current market presence. Each partner will hold a 50% stake in the joint venture (JV), operating independently of its parent company.

Combining AES’ subsidiary, AES Energy Storage, with Siemens’ battery energy storage division, Fluence will be a vendor for both AES’ Advancion utility-scale energy storage solutions and Siemens’ Siestorage product range. The new company will be headquartered in Washington, with further offices in Germany and other territories.

In talking up the two partners’ respective strengths, Siemens said it can bring its experience and track record of working with microgrids and islanding applications, installations running on a hybrid of renewable and conventional generation technologies, black start capability (starting up thermal generators that have come offline), consumer peak shaving as a commercial service as well as the German-headquartered company’s background as an OEM (original equipment manufacturer). Back in 2014, Siemens also signed an MoU to share knowledge on energy storage with battery maker LG Chem. Recent energy storage wins for the company include a 1.4MWh primary control reserve project for German public utility Stadtwerke Schwäbisch Hall. 

Meanwhile, AES will bring experience in utility-scale energy storage projects to the table, particularly in working with large, grid-scale applications. These include providing flexible peaking capacity, providing frequency regulation and other ancillary services, contributing to the reliability of transmission and distribution networks and of course integration of renewable energy onto networks. AES’ Advancion has so far been deployed at projects in seven countries, with over 200MW installed. The company just announced the US$2 billion financial close of a US project combining natural gas generation with 100MW of energy storage.

“As the energy storage market expands, customers face the challenge of finding a trusted technology partner with an appropriate portfolio and a profound knowledge of the power sector,” Siemens’ energy management division chief Ralf Christian said.

“Fluence will fill this major gap in the market. With the global reach of an experienced international sales force as well as Siemens' leading technology platform Siestorage at its disposal, Fluence will be perfectly equipped to serve this very interesting market.”

AES president and CEO Andrés Gluski said that the partnership would help “…accelerate the integration of renewables into the energy network of tomorrow”.

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