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Fluence Energy Files for IPO And Aims For Market Leadership

Anders J

In what some observers called a “landmark” event, energy storage technology company Fluence Energy filed for an initial public offering on the Nasdaq exchange to finance its growth while also delivering more sustainable energy storage and delivery solutions. The filing, announced on Sept. 28, aimed to raise $100 million.

On October 27, Fluence announced a price of $28.00 per share of its Class A common stock with an initial public offering of 31,000,000 shares. The company will trade under the symbol “FLNC.”

Fluence, based in Arlington, Virginia, makes energy storage products and services in addition to digital applications for renewables and storage. Its stated mission is to “create a more sustainable future by transforming the way we power our world.” The company was created in 2018 through a joint venture between energy industry powerhouses AES Corp. and Siemens AG.

Photo Courtesy Fluence Media Room

As the Energy Storage News website noted, the groundwork for the Fluence brand was done ahead of time by both companies’ respective energy storage businesses. Fluence’s leadership team includes members of the AES Energy Storage unit that deployed the world’s first grid-connected lithium-ion battery storage system in 2007. 

Fluence has gained industry renown for its sixth-generation energy storage technology stack, which launched last year. The stack combines energy storage hardware and software, including modular energy storage system (ESS) “Cube” hardware, the Fluence OS operating system, and an artificial intelligence-enabled digital platform called Fluence IQ. 

Utilities, developers, commercial and industrial customers use Fluence’s products to deliver electric power grids more sustainably. The company’s IPO filing comes amid a worldwide effort by both investors and governments to push companies toward more sustainable business practices.

Fluence’s decision to go the traditional IPO route sets it apart from other companies in the clean energy sector, many of which have opted for special purpose acquisitions in which the IPO is intended solely to acquire another firm.

But the move didn’t come as a surprise to those who follow the rapidly expanding energy storage industry. Charles Lesser, a partner at the renewable energy and cleantech advisory firm Apricum, told Energy Storage News that new landmarks in the industry “pass with such regularity that they’re barely remarkable now. This IPO will be another.”

Fluence has plenty of financial clout thanks to its association with Siemens and AES. According to Canary Media, which cited regulatory filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Fluence posted revenue of $561.3 million for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2020. It logged a gross profit of $7.9 million and a net loss of $46.7 million.

Photo Courtesy Jason Briscoe

In its SEC filings, the company calls energy storage “a key solution to the challenges facing electricity markets and transmission grids. (It) sits at the epicenter of the global clean energy transition and represents the backbone of a massive change in our energy market infrastructure driven by three key trends: Grid modernization, decarbonization, and digitalization.”

As Reuters reported, Fluence estimates that its storage products have eliminated 145,000 metric tons of carbon per year, based on the megawatts deployed by the company as of May 2021. That’s roughly the equivalent of taking 30,000 cars off the road each year.

Meanwhile, Fluence recently expanded its digital software platform capabilities with the acquisition of Advanced Microgrid Systems, a software and digital intelligence platform. That deal will help Fluence expand its focus beyond just utility-scale battery projects and into new energy storage markets. The buyout was funded in part by a $125 million investment from Qatari sovereign wealth fund QFH. 

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