Greenbacker and Aypa Power acquire US battery storage projects


Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company and Blackstone-owned Aypa Power have acquired pre-operational battery energy storage system (BESS) developments totalling 110MW of power.

Greenbacker has purchased a portfolio of two standalone lithium-ion BESS sites and two solar porfolios of up to seven projects, all pre-operational, from developer Borrego.

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It marks the renewables asset manager’s first direct entry into the standalone BESS market, two months after it invested in storage-focused developer Delorean Power and two years after it bought the rights to a portfolio of behind-the-meter storage systems from Stem Inc.

The front-of-the-meter storage assets are both in New York and have a combined power/capacity of 10MW/40MWh, with scheduled delivery date of H1 2023. They will participate in New York’s Value of Distributed Energy Resources (VDER) programme for BESS which credits operators for electricity they discharge into the grid. The state has a target of 6GW of energy storage deployed by 2030.

Brendan Neagle, EVP of Project Finance at Borrego commented: “While we have been the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor of record on many Greenbacker projects, this is the first time Greenbacker has bought a significant group of assets from Borrego’s development portfolio.”

The VDER pays out different amounts depending on how valuable the energy is to the network, which is determined by when and where it is generated and fed into the grid. Electricity from solar, storage and other distributed energy resources (DER) is rewarded at an hourly aggregate rate. It favours front-of-the-meter projects which can deliver energy to the grid when most needed without having to consider onsite needs.

Aypa Power buys 100MW project in Virginia

Aypa Power, a Blackstone portfolio company since 2020, has concurrently announced an agreement with developer East Point Energy to buy its 100MW Yadkins project in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Aypa is a battery-storage focused investment company, and has built a 10GW pipeline in North America since entering the sector in 2018.

At the time of Blackstone’s acquisition the firm was called NRStor C&I but has since rebranded. It has not replied to’ request for clarification on the system’s duration or underlying battery technology at the time of writing, nor revealed the project’s delivery date. It says the project will help Virginia attain one of the goals of the Virginia Clean Economy Act of reaching 100% clean energy.

That policy includes a 3.1GW target for energy storage to be deployed by utilities in the state by 2035.

“We are excited to develop the Yadkins project,” said Aypa Power CEO, Moe Hajabed. “Demand for renewable generation continues to grow in Virginia, and storage is needed to provide flexible capacity to better integrate such renewables into the grid.”

Canada-headquartered Aypa Power formed a partnership to work on 300MW – 400MW of North American battery storage projects with engineering and automation technologies firm Honeywell in 2019 when it was still operating under the NRStor name.

Solar portion of Greenbacker’s deal

The solar portion of Greenbacker’s acquisition comprises four distributed community solar projects totalling roughly 12MWdc in northern Illinois, also scheduled for H1 2023, and three in Maine totalling 17MWdc slated for delivery later this year.

Half of the Illinois sites’ offtake will go to small subscribers and participate in the Illinois Shines solar incentive program, which gives subscribers credits on their power bills for using the projects’ solar energy.

The Maine portfolio has been pre-approved for the state’s Net Energy Billing programme which allows consumers to offset their electric bills by the net amount of clean energy they generate on their property or use from community systems.

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