Fluence to provide serious presence in global microgrid development

Siemens and AES have officially launched their 50-50 partnership, a company called Fluence that will reach into 160 countries to capture the growing energy storage market.

Fluence plans to pursue energy storage both on the utility and microgrid scale, according to Stephen Coughlin, president and CEO of Fluence.
Utility-scale storage projects are likely to dominate Fluence’s business. But microgrids, too, “are going to be a significant chunk of our new projects,” Coughlin said in an interview with Microgrid Knowledge.

Fluence listed several projects it is already working on, including a hybrid microgrid on the Mediterranean island of Ventotene for Italian energy utility Enel. The project combines renewable and diesel generators and uses battery storage to reduce fuel use, costs and emissions on the island, which has 700 inhabitants. The resources are managed with a Siemens microgrid controller.

Coughlin noted that islands appear to be a ripe market for microgrids, particularly in light of the spate of destructive hurricanes in the Caribbean last year. He sees Fluence focusing on Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, two places where AES already has a strong presence.

In terms of utility-scale storage, the company is supplying what it describes as the world’s largest lithium-ion battery, a 100 MW/400 MWh (4-hour duration) for Southern California Edison and the Western Los Angeles area.

Coughlin added that the partnership will address the problem customers have of findingà‚ “a trusted technology partner with deep knowledge of the power sector and the ability to deliver an industrial grade solution they could count on to be there in the future.”

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