Macquarie Capital’s debt financing of innovative California battery storage project

Written By: Jen Neville
January 22, 2019

solar plus storage

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Dan Cary, Vice President, MACQUARIE CAPITAL will be speaking on Panel Discussion: Solar + Storage Goes Mainstream

Solar + Storage has emerged as the norm for new solar projects, especially in the west. With utilities and other offtakers increasingly requiring either the addition of storage, or at the minimum having projects be “storage ready,” almost all solar project developers are looking to add storage capabilities. This panel will examine:

 Key market opportunities and challenges for solar + storage projects
 Storage “Products” provided by solar + storage projects
 Market approaches for pricing solar + storage
 Performance Metrics and other critical PPA provisions for solar + storage
 Acquisitions, Partnerships, Internal Development—What strategies are renewable developers using to increase their ability to execute solar + storage projects?

Macquarie Capital, the corporate advisory, capital markets and principal investing arm of Macquarie Group recently announced a $100 million debt financing of an innovative battery-based energy storage project in Southern California.

The financing is part of a 52.5 MW / 315 MWh project for Southern California Edison which backs the existing 66 MWh portfolio and funds construction of an additional 177 MWh portfolio of behind-the-meter, battery storage systems located in certain grid-constrained pockets of the West Los Angeles Basin service territory. CIT Group, which led the initial financing through its Energy Finance unit, was also the lead investor in the refinancing, joined by Rabobank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.

In 2017, the project became the first non-recourse project financing of battery-based energy storage systems. Macquarie Capital acquired the portfolio from AMS August 2016 and both have been jointly developing and constructing it.

“We are pleased to secure the financing for the next phase of development for this innovative battery storage infrastructure project in Southern California, stated Chris Archer Head of Green Energy Americas for Macquarie Capital. “CIT has been an outstanding financing partner and believer in our track record of financing and developing distributed power assets and we are delighted to welcome new lenders to this growing asset class.”

“CIT is proud to lead the financing of this landmark project, which demonstrates our ongoing commitment to supporting innovation and sustainable solutions in the energy sector,” added Mike Lorusso, managing director and group head for CIT’s Energy Finance unit, part of the company’s Commercial Finance division.

Grid-connected battery storage solutions are increasingly recognized as ways to accelerate the adoption of clean energy resources, as well as improve the operating capabilities of the grid, while lowering costs and ensuring reliability.

The fleet of energy storage systems, which are located at various large-load commercial, industrial and government host sites in Los Angeles and Orange counties, will be used for utility grid services including flexible and reserve capacity, solar integration and voltage management in addition to retail energy services such as demand management, back up generation and enhanced power quality.

As part of the project, Irvine Ranch Water District and Macquarie Capital previously announced the completion of the nation’s largest energy storage system being used for on-site power – a 2.5 MW/15MWh installation now powering the District’s largest water recycling plant.

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