Battery storage: a crucial technology for the energy transition and a perfect fit for AES


Three great scientists, John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino, have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry this year. What was their area of discovery? Lithium-ion batteries!

In awarding the prize to the three scientists, the Nobel Committee said: “Lithium-ion batteries have revolutionized our lives and are used in everything from mobile phones to laptops and electric vehicles. Through their work, this year’s Chemistry Laureates have laid the foundation of a wireless, fossil fuel-free society.”

Lithium-ion batteries are a key component of grid-scale battery storage, For The AES Corporation, battery-based energy storage is one of the keys to unlocking a cleaner energy future. As utilities face challenges integrating intermittent generation sources, there is a critical need for grid stabilization and reliability support.

Battery storage is a perfect fit in our portfolio as it enables us to offer our customers a way to incorporate a higher share of power from renewable sources while reducing costs and guaranteeing a reliable and flexible energy supply.

According to Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables latest report*, energy storage deployments are forecast to grow 13-fold over the next six years to a 158 gigawatt-hour market by 2024. The European Commissioner says that the European battery market alone could grow to €250 billion by 2025.

The AES corporation is already a leader in the field of energy storage. We started installing and operating energy storage arrays in 2007. AES’ energy storage systems represent one of the world’s largest battery-based energy storage fleets, with over 450 MW in operation, under construction or in advanced development across six countries.

In 2018, we partnered with Siemens to form Fluence, a new global energy storage technology and services company. Fluence has now deployed or been awarded about one gigawatt of energy storage projects in 18 countries. This year Fluence has broken ground on a 400 megawatt-hour (MWh) battery-based energy storage system in Long Beach, Southern California that will help the state meet its ambitious target of 100% clean energy by 2045.

AES Corporation has been selected for the Edison Electric Institute’s (EEI) 2019 Edison Award, the electric power industry’s most prestigious honor, for our Lāwa’i solar and energy storage project on the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i. The project consists of 28 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) and a 100 MWh five-hour duration energy storage system. Energy generated by solar panels is stored overnight and released the next day. The system will help Hawaii meet its goal of reaching 100% renewable energy by 2045.

In February 2019, AES was selected by Arizona Public Service (APS) to deliver a 100 megawatt (MW) 4-hour duration battery-based energy storage system while in India, AES Corporation, Tata Power, and Mitsubishi Corporation unveiled the country’s first grid-scale battery-based energy storage system in Rohini, Delhi. The 10 megawatt (MW), 10 megawatt-hour (MWh) grid-connected system will pave the path for wider adoption of grid-scale energy storage technology across India. Fluence supplied its state of the art Advancion technology for the project.

These projects show the importance that AES gives to battery storage as a crucial technology for the energy transition. As we and our customers move to reduce carbon intensity, energy storage will  become the ideal solution to improve grid stability and to improve transmission capacity as more zero marginal cost solar and wind energy is added to the grid.