- Battery storage producer NEC Energy Solutions is winding down its energy storage operations and will no longer pursue new projects, according to a report from Bloomberg News.
- "As the market is growing, it is becoming increasingly cost-based — developers are looking further up the value chain to see if they are able to integrate systems at lower costs," Yayoi Sekine, head of decentralized energy at BloombergNEF told Utility Dive in an email. NEC Corp could not find a suitable buyer for the Westborough, Massachusetts-based subsidiary due to market conditions in grid-scale energy storage and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to Bloomberg News.
- The energy storage market is both shrinking and growing, according to Ricardo Rodriguez, an analyst with Guidehouse Insights. As existing firms are swallowed by competitors, new ones enter the market, he told Utility Dive.
Despite NEC Energy Solutions' decision to discontinue operations, it remains one of the top three global storage system providers along with Fluence Energy and Tesla, according to Sekine.
The company, which serves the utility-scale, commercial and industrial markets, remains committed to finishing projects already under development, according to a letter to customers cited in the Bloomberg News report. The U.S. subsidiary of Japanese parent NEC Corp. has ongoing maintenance projects through March 2030, Bloomberg reported.
The energy storage market has become increasingly competitive, according to a May 27 report by Guidehouse Insights. ENGIE, Enel X, Tesla, Honeywell, Con Edison Battery Storage, EDF, and NantEnergy are the top commercial and industrial energy storage integrators, according to the report.
The top competitors in the field are those capable of providing innovative financing, integrated software platforms and the ability to forecast future revenue streams, Rodriguez said. While third-ranked Tesla gained ground by developing internal capabilities, including machine learning capabilities that enable customers to optimize energy storage and use, according to Rodriguez, industry leader ENGIE found its success through a mergers and acquisitions strategy.
"The top firms today are distinguished based on the size of their portfolio — which includes how many projects they have been involved in, the MWh that are currently operating as well as how long they have been in the market," Sekine said.
"They have been able to provide well-engineered systems, with product guarantees and safety certifications that other smaller players may struggle to back. In order to continue to be distinguished, they need to be able to compete on cost as well as value," Sekine added.
NEC Energy Solutions did not respond to repeated requests for comment.