Pacific Gas and Electric’s 182.5-MW/730-MWh battery energy storage system in Moss Landing, California is using Fluence’s trading platform to optimize market bidding performance in the CAISO wholesale market. Fluence suggests that using AI for advanced price forecasting can improve revenue for the utility as well as make the grid more efficient. Fluence has already tested the software in PG&E’s bidding and scheduling systems for the 4-MW Yerba Buena and 2-MW Vaca Dixon energy storage projects.
When Energy Transition Now interviewed Seyed Madaeni chief digital officer of Fluence (and former CEO of Fluence-acquired AMS) he noted that the software was “technology-agnostic” and could optimize not only the Moss Landing project but potentially “entire portfolios of generation and storage resources.” Fluence claims that the trading platform can increase revenue and operational efficiency for battery-based energy storage by 40 to 50 percent.
The Moss Landing battery system will be comprised of 256 Tesla Megapack batteries with energization and AI-powered bidding scheduled for later this year. An expansion was approved in August that could bring the Vistra Energy-backed battery to a spectacularly-sized 1,500 MW/6,000 MWh — what will be the biggest battery in the world, by far.
The holy grail: stacking energy revenue
CAISO allows an energy source to bid into a number of wholesale markets: ancillary services like frequency regulation or spinning reserve, as well as Real Time and Day Ahead energy markets.
The holy grail for extracting value from energy storage has always been the ability to “stack” these revenue streams — but few battery operators have been able to pull off this feat, despite press releases to the contrary.
Fluence’s Madaeni said the company was “putting our money where our mouth is” in its capture of multiple stacked revenue streams, while still accounting for battery lifetime and degradation.
He noted that traditional energy trading with spreadsheets and humans was suitable for thermal assets like coal and gas plants, with a calculus based on marginal cost. “But renewables and energy storage makes this very complicated,” he said, adding, “Batteries won’t solve the problem, it’s how we use the battery.”
Fluence is a Siemens and AES company with energy storage software deployed or awarded at 2.4 gigawatts of projects.