Fluence gains investor to help drive energy storage growth


From pv magazine USA

Global energy storage provider Fluence said it will receive US$125 million from the Qatar Investment Authority through a private placement transaction.

Net proceeds will be used to further develop the company’s product offerings, particularly digital products, and deployment of existing products in more markets around the world.

AES and Siemens will remain major shareholders, each maintaining a roughly 44% stake, and will continue to support Fluence’s long-term growth. The company currently has around 2.4 GW of projects deployed or awarded across 24 countries and territories worldwide.

Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar. It was founded in 2005 to invest and manage the state reserve funds. QIA ranks among the largest and most active sovereign wealth funds globally.

Manuel Perez Dubuc, Fluence’s CEO, said in a statement the company sees energy storage as the “linchpin of a decarbonized grid” and that adding QIA to its shareholder base “will allow Fluence to innovate even faster and address the enormous global market” for large-scale battery-based energy storage.

In the U.S., developers are on track to deploy a record 1.2 GW of storage in 2020, according to Wood MacKenzie. Deployments are projected to increase over the next five years, rising to nearly 7.5 GW in 2025. In California alone, Fluence has around 1 GW of storage capacity expected to come online in the coming months.

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Qatar Investment Authority is one of six founding members of the One Planet Sovereign Wealth Fund Initiative, which is building climate change into financial decision making. The proposed investment in Fluence is expected to enhance QIA’s growing focus on green technology development.

This past summer, Fluence announced its sixth-generation Tech Stack, which is designed to enable faster deployment of standardized, modular systems; reduce balance of system costs; and provide customizable approaches for customers.

At the time, Fluence said the new technology had been specified by Enel, LS Power, sPower and Siemens for 800 MW, 2,300 MWh, of projects.

In October, Fluence acquired AMS’ software and digital intelligence platform for renewables and energy storage. The platform is designed to improve revenue of energy storage assets in wholesale markets.

AMS’ technology uses artificial intelligence, advanced price forecasting, portfolio optimization and market bidding to ensure energy storage and flexible generation assets are responding optimally to price signals sent by the market.

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