NEC’s global battery arm to wind down operations, citing COVID-19

NEC Energy Solutions Inc., Westborough, Massachusetts, one of the few energy storage companies with a global reach, is winding down operations after the COVID-19 pandemic thwarted plans to sell the business, The Japan Times reports.

On Thursday, NEC management notified customers that it would begin an “orderly wind down” of operations, with a majority of employees staying with the company long enough to complete its existing projects, according to a letter seen by Bloomberg. Although the Massachusetts-based company will not seek new business, it remains committed to finishing projects under development.

Japanese parent NEC Corp. tried to sell the business, according to the letter. But “market conditions in the grid‐scale battery energy storage business and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic have inhibited the efforts to find a suitable buyer,” according to the letter.

NEC was one of a relatively small clutch of companies in the large-scale battery industry that had a global reach, and its exit raises the question of whether its struggles are unique to NEC or also applicable to its peers, said Logan Goldie-Scot, head of clean power research at BloombergNEF.

“It’s fairly meaningful that they’re wrapping up,” he said in an interview. “If they’re exiting the space because they don’t view it as viable, then there’s a whole series of questions.”

Chief Executive Officer Steve Fludder is resigning his post, to be replaced by Mark Lymbery, whom the company describes as a “seasoned executive with expertise in business reorganizations.”


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