The Energy Storage Report 2024

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Trina Storage launches cell-to-AC BESS solution in US, signs first Germany project deal


Trina Storage’s new 10MWh battery storage product is claimed by the company to be the first in the US to include full cell-to-AC system integration from a single vendor.

The energy storage arm of major global solar PV company Trina Solar announced the North American release of its new liquid-cooled Elementa 2 Elevate solution yesterday (26 June), available for delivery from the beginning of August this year.

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It is unique in that the China-headquartered company manufactures its own lithium iron phosphate (LFP) lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery cells for the product as well as racks, cabinets and enclosures, making it the only BESS provider in the US market to do so at present, Trina Storage said.

“Trina Storage handles everything from developing core cell technology to providing a fully wrapped and integrated solution to our customers ensuring they meet their energy storage goals,” Trina Storage US president Terry Chen said.

In an interview earlier this year with Premium, Helena Li, executive president at Trina Solar, said that using an in-house developed and manufactured LFP cell enables higher levels of quality control over the full supply chain, components and integration of Trina Storage’s second-generation BESS products, which also include the standard 4MWh Elementa 2, 20-foot containerised solution.

Trina’s cells include 306Ah and 314Ah large-format prismatic LFP cells, currently manufactured outside the US, but the company said Elementa 2 Elevate’s supply chain is integrated in alignment with North American market requirements.

The company aims to ramp up its total energy storage manufacturing capacity to more than 20GW by the end of 2024, with two main cell production facilities in China.

“The Elementa 2 Elevate is a competitive offering in the storage marketplace due to its fully wrapped solution approach. Trina Storage delivers unmatched cost advantages while setting a new standard for efficiency and sustainability in energy storage solutions,” Trina Solar US president Steven Zhu said.

It will be interesting to see where the company goes next in terms of establishing more localised supply chains for the US market, with Section 201 tariffs on batteries imported from China recently increased, while the use of US-made domestic content is being incentivised through tax credits under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).  

35MWh deal marks Trina’s entry into German grid-scale market

Trina Storage’s first few gigawatt-hours of booked BESS orders had largely come from two markets: China and the UK.

However, along with its push into the US, the system integrator is seeking to grow its footprint in continental Europe and has signed its first deal in Germany.

The company has signed a contract to provide 35MWh of its first-generation Elementa cabinets, power conversion system (PCS) technology from manufacturer Power Electronics and associated software and controls, to a project owned by investor Obton.

Located in the town of Tangermünde in the Saxony-Anhalt region of Germany, about 120km from Berlin, Obton acquired the 15.8MW/35MWh project from developer Kyon Energy as part of a 600MW framework deal announced in June 2023.

The acquisition of the Tangermünde development was closed later that year along with deals for three other projects totalling 195MW.

Trina Storage said the project will be due for commissioning in the fourth quarter of this year, and the system will perform a combination of applications including energy arbitrage/trading and ancillary services including primary and secondary frequency response.

Kyon Energy, which is developing some of the largest projects in Germany including a 137.5MW/275MWh in Lower Saxony which was approved by regulators just before the end of 2023, will stay on at the Tangermünde to provide general contracting services including commissioning.

Germany was Europe’s leading market for BESS deployments in 2023, according to research from trade group SolarPower Europe, with a 34% share (5.9GWh) of the total 17.2GWh of systems installed in the continent last year.

Most of that was in the distributed residential storage segment, but grid-scale battery storage has also seen a reemergence, driven by increased national and European Union-level renewable energy targets. Ernst & Young (EY) recently ranked Germany as the fifth most attractive country for investment in battery storage in a top 10 of global markets, alongside its Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI).

More favourable regulations for storage are being created by German lawmakers, but a source at developer Baywa r.e. warned ESN Premium this week of potential unintended consequences.  

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