Canadian Solar subsidiary Recurrent buys 400MWh standalone storage projects in ERCOT

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Canadian Solar subsidiary Recurrent Energy has acquired two standalone energy storage projects in development totalling 400MWh in the ERCOT, Texas market.

Recurrent has acquired the projects from developer Black Mountain Energy Storage (BMES), part of broader energy project development group Black Mountain. The two 200MWh projects are in development and expected to begin operation in quarter two 2024.

Recurrent will continue to develop the projects, finalise entitlements and design, select and procure equipment, raise project financing and construct the facilities.

An earlier press release from BMES said the projects, Bordertown BESS and Fort Duncan BESS, have a power output of 100MWac each. They are in the South Load Zone of grid operator ERCOT’s market and will be operated as merchant projects, meaning they will mostly do wholesale energy trading. BESS projects in ERCOT make half of their money from this, according to investor Gore Street Capital, which recently entered the market.

The projects are two of six 100MW projects in BMES’ portfolio and BMES signed exclusivity agreements with a separate counterpart for the other four – Brazos Bend BESS, Seven Flags BESS, Third Coast BESS and Tierra Seca BESS – according to the earlier release from March this year.

Although the press release described Recurrent’s two acquired projects as standalone ones, documentation on ERCOT’s website implies they could be co-located with solar. Canadian Solar is one of the largest solar PV module manufacturers in the world and Recurrent, which Canadian acquired in 2015, recently gave an interview on the potential of solar-plus-storage in the US.

“It’s bittersweet to see these projects leave the nest, but I must say Recurrent picked them well. We ought to see pronounced volatility at these nodes for years to come, and these batteries will not only capture significant value but provide resiliency in a sparse region of ERCOT’s transmission network,” said Witt Duncan, director of corporate development, BMES.

“Identifying challenged areas of the transmission network that produce outsized opportunities for spread capture is BMES’ core focus, and we have 3.0GW of optimally sited ERCOT BESS projects in the hopper behind these two.”

The deal was done through the LevelTen Asset Marketplace platform which connects clean energy project developers and financiers, and provides the software, analytics and M&A transaction expertise to complete deals.

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