Oil giants pile into energy storage

This five-year chart of Brent crude prices shows the pain oil companies have been experiencing since mid-2014... and why they might be looking to diversify into energy storage.

This five-year chart of Brent crude prices shows the pain oil companies have been experiencing since mid-2014… and why they might be looking to diversify into energy storage (chart: CNBC).

By Jason Deign

The last week has seen two Big Oil firms move into energy storage as continuing low prices for crude force petroleum sector players to diversify.

On Monday the French oil giant Total announced a friendly takeover of Saft Groupe, which specialises in batteries for the transport, industry and defence sectors.

The €950m purchase represents a 38.3% premium on Saft’s share price on the close of business the Friday before the announcement. It is also 41.9% above Saft’s weighted average share price over the previous six months, Total said.

“The acquisition of Saft is part of Total’s ambition to accelerate its development in the fields of renewable energy and electricity, initiated in 2011 with the acquisition of SunPower,” said Patrick Pouyanné, Total’s chairman and CEO.

“It will notably allow us to complement our portfolio with electricity storage solutions, a key component of the future growth of renewable energy.”
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Energy storage news: 16.04.14

The US Department of Energy has awarded FuelCell Energy USD$3m to increase performance and decrease costs for its stationary fuel cell power plants.

The US Department of Energy has awarded FuelCell Energy USD$3m to increase performance and decrease costs for its stationary fuel cell power plants. Photo: FuelCell Energy, Inc

The main energy storage news from our Twitter feed this week.

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Fuel cell plant to be built in Connecticut

US-based FuelCell Energy has been contracted by Dominion Energy plc, a UK-registered oil and gas exploration and development company, to build a 14.9MW fuel cell power plant in Connecticut, USA. Fuel Cell Energy will manufacture and install five 2.8MW systems at the site, then operate and maintain the facility through a 15-year service contract, reports New Energy World Network.

The project, which is expected to be operational by the end of 2013, is supported by a 15-year power purchase agreement with the Connecticut Light and Power Company.