NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE: 6701) (http://www.nec.com/) announced on March 24 the acquisition of the A123 Energy Solutions (http://www.a123energy.com/) business unit of A123 Systems, LLC. This acquisition, for approximately USD $100 million, strengthens the energy storage capability of NEC's smart energy business. An agreement on the terms of the deal has been finalized and a new company "NEC Energy Solutions" is slated to begin operation in June 2014 under the direction of NEC. A123's existing cell manufacturing and sales, research and development, and automotive operations will remain the core focus of A123 Systems, LLC.
With this acquisition, NEC will become the world's leading supplier of lithium-ion grid energy storage systems. A123 Energy Solutions has deployed over 110MW of its Grid Storage Solutions (GSS (TM)) worldwide with the vast majority of these systems already in revenue service. NEC Energy Solutions, with access to NEC Corporation's world-class ICT and A123 Energy Solutions' system integrations expertise, is now better prepared to address the increasing global need for energy storage.
"With these combined strengths, NEC Energy Solutions will be able to help satisfy the growing demand for energy storage worldwide, whether driven by increased penetration of renewable energy, more effective grid stabilization services, or the desire for reinforcement of existing transmission and distribution grids," said Takemitsu Kunio, Senior Vice President of NEC Corporation. "Improving energy reliability, sustainability, and security, we will provide turn-key energy storage solutions, ranging from utility-side storage at the megawatt scale, down to behind-the-meter storage at the kilowatt scale."
A123 Systems, through its A123 Energy Solutions unit, is a leader in lithium-ion grid energy storage systems. A123 Energy Solutions has supplied some of the world's leading utility companies and independent power producers, including applications in North America, South America, Europe, the UK, and Asia, including recent 2MW and 500kW installations in China.
"We are delighted by the combination of strengths of the two companies," said Bud Collins, President of A123 Energy Solutions. "Combining our experience in the grid storage space with the world's leading utilities and power producers, NEC's strength in ICT, and its lithium-ion manufacturing scale, we believe the resulting company will be a formidable organization, well-equipped to handle the emerging smart energy sector across the globe."