TaiyangNews Managing Director Michael Schmela recently sat down for an exclusive interview with Chinese renewables storage startup JD Energy’s Vice General Manager Rocky Ma at the TaiyangNews and SNEC Energy Storage, Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Leadership Conversations.
The interview was conducted at the recently concluded 8th (2023) International Energy Storage Technology, Equipment and Application Exhibition in Shanghai, China (click on photo to watch video).
Focused on commercial & industrial (C&I) and utility segments, JD Energy replaces the big energy storage system (ESS) containers with a small distributed, modular block design.
Sharing the company’s origins, Ma said JD Energy had zero income for the initial 3 years after the company was established in 2018, as the team was focused on research and development. In 2021, it launched its all-in-one distributed power storage system which was accepted well by grid companies, including State Grid.
That year, Ma said the company achieved an income of RMB 20 million, and revenue of RMB 420 million. He expects it to skyrocket to RMB 3 billion in 2023.
Since then, the company’s all-in-one modular, distributed power storage system is accepted by more and more companies and enterprises in China. As for the future, Ma said JD Energy would like to see its products being used for energy storage on the grid side as well as the generation side.
Most investors on both sides are solely concerned about initial capital investment and not so much about levelized cost of storage (LCOS), reflected Ma, but he believes his company’s products can supply the lowest LCOS solution though it comes at a price which is 3% to 5% higher than the standard containerized energy solution products.
Energy storage is a fast-growing field as the world’s largest solar market China expands its renewable energy capacity. In 2022, Mainland China saw 850 MWh to 900 MWh of total C&I energy storage projects having been installed, according to Ma.
Third-party estimates suggest the number may grow to 3.5 GWh to 4.0 GWh just for the C&I segment in 2023. JD Energy targets to deliver around 600 MWh to 650 MWh to Mainland China this year as it expects to be ranked at the top among energy storage power products suppliers.
Currently, CATL backed JD Energy operates an advanced automatic production line covering battery packs and PC system assembly and debugging product line.
In the near future, it plans to expand its footprint to Europe and Australia in the C&I energy storage business. At some places, it has already signed many channel partnership agreements. Its business will expand beyond China post March 2024 by when it gets IEC and UL certificates. On the grid side, its target markets are the US and India.
By December 2023, JD Energy plans to close pre-IPO proceedings. Ma said the company expects its gross margin to reach close to RMB 100 million by the end of this year.