Ex-Recurrent Energy execs launch battery storage developer with US$200 million backing

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A group of former directors and executives at Recurrent Energy have launched a new low carbon energy development company with an initial focus on battery storage.

The new company, Nightpeak Energy, has been founded by four ex-colleagues at Recurrent Energy, the US developer subsidiary of vertically integrated solar PV manufacturer Canadian Solar.

Nightpeak intends to develop, own, and operate utility-scale flexible generation sources around the US, giving the example of large-scale battery storage as one such asset class.

According to the company’s website, it intends to work with technologies like lithium-ion batteries, long-duration energy storage and hydrogen generators.

It will be active in markets where there is medium-term need to use flexible generation sources to augment the growth of renewable energy and where there is already proven market value to batteries and other sources of grid flexibility. For now, that means large parts of the West Coast US and Texas’ ERCOT market.

Texas-based investment firm Energy Spectrum Capital has backed the developer with equity funding worth up to US$200 million, from its near-US$1 billion Energy Spectrum Partners Fund VIII.

Nightpeak claimed that it also has the backing of a major US lender, the financial terms of which have not been disclosed but is in the form of a letter of credit facility. Between the two sources of funding, the developer is able to execute on its strategy, Nightpeak said.  

In related news, a few days ago, Recurrent inaugurated Crimson Storage, at 350MW/1,400MWh one of the country’s – and world’s biggest – standalone lithium-ion battery energy storage system (BESS) projects. All of Recurrent’s other battery projects to date had been solar-plus-storage, and all of its portfolio has been in California.

In an interview with Energy-Storage.news, Nightpeak co-founder Lucas Moller, speaking in his former role as head of energy storage development at Recurrent Energy, said the degree of solar penetration on the grid in the desert southwestern US meant the value of batteries was being recognised by the market.

Moller said that although all of Recurrent’s BESS and solar-plus-storage activities were in California to date, the state was the frontrunner in a US-wide trend, rather than an outlier.    

“For the buyers in these markets, whether it’s a regulated market like Arizona or an open market in California, the value of that midday energy is so low in every marginal megawatt of renewable power that you buy new plants, you want it to be associated with the ability to shift and not be exposed to that low value in the middle of the day,” Moller said.

Moller’s fellow founders at Nightpeak are CEO and chief development officer Paris Hays; former director of project development at Recurrent, CFO Michael Laubenthal; former head of finance at Recurrent Energy, and chief commercial officer Ben Snieckus, formerly Recurrent director of orgination and structuring.

“The Nightpeak team’s track-record of success developing energy storage and related assets fits well with our approach of identifying strong management teams to build companies that meet the needs of the evolving energy market,” Energy Spectrum partner Mike Mayon said.

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