Why do I love working in this industry? It’s because I continue to see visionary companies take advanced energy storage and apply it to new and bigger challenges. Today, I want to talk about one of our partner companies that is providing an incredible example of the potential for energy storage and laying down a bold challenge to both developed and developing power systems.
From Projects to Portfolios: Transforming Electricity Systems with Energy Storage
This visionary company is deploying an entire fleet of battery-based energy storage that will rapidly come to life across an entire country’s electricity network. This record-setting deployment is comprised of multiple energy storage projects topping 500 MW cumulatively, strategically sited across the power network to make it stronger and more resilient. The fleet will be delivered and commissioned in less than two years, making it not only one of the largest but also one of the fastest-built energy storage installations the industry has ever seen.
Doubling down on this proven technology, this key customer has moved to quickly provide critical grid services to this country, with no direct emissions, at a lower cost than traditional resources, and with the capability to allow other power assets to be used more efficiently. These deployments will support the long-term growth in renewable power generation by providing rapid-response grid management services across the entire network. In effect, the grid will have the most modern and responsive tools for delivering reliable, responsible, and cost-effective power.
Out-Deploying Developed Nations
Working at a more ambitious scale than most developed nations, a small group of dedicated individuals within this company set out to transform their country’s electricity network. They had a view that a network of grid-scale energy storage devices distributed across the electricity network would be able to resolve both local and system-wide challenges, providing unmatched speed of response and reliability. To mobilize and deliver storage assets at this scale, they reviewed many potential partners, looking for someone with the energy to take on big challenges and the experience to deliver large-scale energy storage projects successfully in challenging environments; this search led them to select Fluence.
Fluence’s history dates back to the first grid-scale lithium-ion battery-based systems deployed in 2008 and through a series of ever-larger first-of-their-kind installations across different power systems. Today, the company’s experience includes multi-megawatt facilities in more than 22 countries and territories, and spanning developed and developing countries. Within the Asia Pacific region, our Fluence team built the first energy storage deployment in Southeast Asia in 2016, a 10 MW system delivered to AES. Since then, the company has installed systems in India and Australia in addition to new installations in the Americas, Caribbean, and European markets. These have often served as critical proof-of-concepts for other companies, governments, and regulators around the world. Fluence’s experience in the region and success with so many different energy storage projects gave our partner the confidence to set ambitious goals to deliver the benefits of energy storage.
One Building Block for the Entire Fleet
To simplify project development and maximize the speed of delivery, the full fleet is being built using standard-sized, pre-configured systems. In this way, Fluence’s energy storage technology is serving as a platform for the creativity and ambition of our partners, allowing them to quickly roll out state-of-the-art systems built upon years of lessons learned in the field.
By utilizing Fluence’s technology, our customer can easily identify project sites, take advantage of strong supplier relationships, and simplify overall portfolio maintenance. They create the opportunity and Fluence delivers a fully functional, turn-key installation tuned to their needs. The entire fleet will be controlled using the Fluence Operating System including Fleet View, which provides operators with full visibility into every project across their fleet.
These industrial-strength energy storage systems are built to the standard of critical infrastructure projects, are connected to the medium and high-voltage network, and are designed to provide a long operational life and the highest reliability. This fleet of energy storage projects will be able to mitigate grid instability faster than any other assets currently operating on the network.
Combining Technology with the Expertise to Reshape a Market
I am often asked where energy storage is headed. This fleet gives us a vision of the future, a vision that has driven Fluence since its earliest days. By embedding large-scale energy storage throughout the power network, we can enable for the most efficient use of power generation, the most cost-effective means of achieving reliability, and the most responsible use of resources to reduce the overall emissions of the power grid. When we look at any individual markets, we see only a piece of what is possible, with storage providing a generation alternative in one case or a distribution system upgrade in another. With this project, we will begin to see a larger and more holistic use of energy storage throughout the grid and begin to realize a fuller set of benefits.
We are pleased to offer our experience and technology as the platform to realize the big plans of our visionary partners. Each project comes with unique challenges that require active problem solving and teamwork. Our team works to educate customers and stakeholders across the Asia Pacific region on energy storage and its many applications, helps incorporate bidirectional resources like storage into regulatory frameworks, and demonstrates how to deploy solutions that increase network stability and support build-outs of new generation. Working shoulder-to-shoulder with leading power companies, we have been able to show the benefits of energy storage at increasing scale year after year. With this ambitious portfolio, we are once again raising the ceiling on how important and widely installed advanced energy storage can be.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates over 700 GW of both traditional and renewable resources will be deployed in Southeast Asia over the next five years. As we’ve seen in many markets around the world, energy storage can provide higher-quality and faster-responding ancillary services than traditional generation, ensure better management of an evolving generation mix, and strengthen the network to reliably support rapid economic growth in the region. It was fun to be there at the beginning, it was fun to participate in the early growth phases, and we are looking forward to the fun of delivering even larger portfolios of projects alongside the leaders of power systems globally.