Market Leader AES Energy Storage Projects Strong Future Growth
In early August, I spent three days at the Energy Storage North America (ESNA) conference in San Diego. One key take-away was from the keynote delivered by Ronald Nichols, President of Southern California Edison. At one point he flatly asserted that for every utility represented by an attendee in the crowd, there is a viable and cost-effective storage opportunity somewhere on their grid today. That is a revolutionary statement, and something that would have surprised most industry observers just a few years ago.
However, that statement probably would not have surprised the leaders of AES Energy Storage. Those of us with long memories will recall that AES has been delivering utility-scale storage projects for over a decade, with projects deployed, under construction or in development in seven countries. The company currently boasts the largest lithium-ion battery-based energy storage project in the world (30 megawatts and 120 megawatthours) – built in partnership with San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E), to help meet peak electricity demand within its service territory in southern California. AES Energy Storage also indicates it has delivered over four million megawatt-hours of service to date. No other competitor in the battery storage space has a track record remotely close to that.
Given its heft in the market, AES Energy Storage is still surprisingly small, consisting of approximately 70 core team employees who focus on the development of storage solutions platforms. AES sells its Advancion energy storage platform and related services to multiple customers, including utilities and regional business units of the AES Corporation (AES Energy Storage’s parent company) in 17 countries, utilities like SDG&E and Arizona Public Service, and other entities who undertake power project development.
The company now hopes to build on and consolidate its first mover advantage, recently announcing Fluence – its joint venture with Siemens.
To find out more about the organization’s goals and gain some insight into where the storage industry may be headed, I sat down with John Zahurancik, president of AES Energy Storage, for a brief conversation at ESNA.
Joining forces with Siemens
Zahurancik – who has been with the business since the founding over a decade ago – was keen to discuss the logic behind Fluence, the newly formed 50/50 joint venture between AES and Siemens.