updated 2/7/2011 9:17:04 AM ET 2011-02-07T14:17:04

WATERTOWN, Mass., Feb. 7, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A123 Systems (Nasdaq:AONE), a developer and manufacturer of advanced Nanophosphatelithium ion batteries and systems, today announced an order from AES Gener for 20MW of A123's advanced energy storage solutions for a spinning reserve project in Northern Chile. The project expands the relationship between A123 and AES Energy Storage and is AES' second in Chile to use A123 energy storage technology—in 2009, the companies announced the commercial operation of a 12MW spinning reserve project at AES Gener's Los Andes substation in the Atacama Desert in Chile, the first energy storage system deployed in that country.

"The project will utilize A123 lithium-ion batteries to supply a flexible and scalable emissions-free reserve capacity installation for AES Gener," said Chris Shelton, president of AES Energy Storage. "We are excited to work with A123 to improve the performance and reliability of the Chilean power grid."

A123's advanced lithium-ion energy storage systems offer customers a complete solution to quickly and cost-effectively hybridize power plants to improve grid stability and facilitate the integration of renewable energy sources. The robust, highly scalable design consists of modular energy storage racks, power electronics and communications and controls software, enabling grid operators to implement a turnkey package for frequency regulation, spinning reserve and other ancillary services. To date, A123 has shipped more than 35MW of its advanced energy storage units to AES and other customers worldwide, making the company the largest producer of lithium ion batteries for ancillary services for the power grid.

AES Gener will deploy A123's energy storage solutions at a new 500MW power plant called Angamos. The advanced energy storage installation provides critical contingency services to maintain the stability of the electric grid in Northern Chile, an important mining area. It continuously monitors the condition of the power system and if a significant frequency deviation occurs—for example, the loss of a generator or transmission line—the energy storage system is capable of providing up to 20MW of power nearly instantaneously. This output is designed to be maintained for 15 minutes at full power, allowing the system operator to resolve the event or bring other standby units online.

"Today's announcement builds on the strong relationship we have with AES and further validates A123's advanced energy storage systems as the ideal solution for frequency regulation, spinning reserve and other ancillary services," said Robert Johnson, vice president of the Energy Solutions Group at A123. "Projects like this and others we are working on demonstrate the commercial viability of our advanced energy storage capabilities, and we expect the technology to play an integral role in increasing the efficiency of ancillary services and enabling the wide-spread integration of renewable energy."

In addition to these projects in Chile, A123's activity with AES Energy Storage includes the commercial operation of a frequency regulation project at an AES generation plant in Johnson City, N.Y., the first of its kind to be classified as a generator by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Expected to be completed in 2011, the system will supply 20MW of emissions-free reserve capacity to the power market operated by the New York Independent System Operator.

About A123 Systems

A123 Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:AONE) develops and manufactures advanced lithium ion batteries and battery systems for the transportation, electric grid services and commercial markets. Headquartered in Massachusetts and founded in 2001, A123 Systems' proprietary nanoscale electrode technology is built on initial developments from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For additional information please visit www.a123systems.com .

The A123 Systems, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=6600

Safe Harbor Disclosure

This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements are: delays in customer and market demand for AES's products and services, delays in AES's energy projects or delays in the implementation of the Company's solutions at such projects, delays in the development, production and delivery of the Company's products and solutions, adverse economic conditions in general and adverse economic conditions specifically affecting the markets and geographies in which A123 and AES operate and other risks detailed in A123 Systems' quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended  September 30, 2010 and other publicly available filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements reflect A123's expectations only as of the date of this release and should not be relied upon as reflecting A123's views, expectations or beliefs at any date subsequent to the date of this release.

CONTACT: A123 Systems PR Contact:
         A123 Systems
         Dan Borgasano
         A123 Systems IR Contact:
         ICR, LLC
         Garo Toomajanian
         Courtney Kessler

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