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Intersect Power brings solar-plus-storage with 448MWh BESS online in California

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Renewables developer Intersect Power has brought a 310MWp PV, 448MWh energy storage system project online in California.

The company announced the 22 December 2022 start of commercial operations for its Athos III solar project in Riverside County yesterday (11 January, 2023).

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The solar PV can generate a maximum of 224MWac/310MWp of solar energy and the project features a 112MW/448MWh battery energy storage system (BESS), a four-hour unit.

Energy storage projects need to have a discharge duration of four hours in order to participate in Resource Adequacy, grid operator CAISO’s framework for ensuring that there is enough energy supply to meet demand.

The Athos project is part of a near-term portfolio for Intersect which totals 2.2GW of solar PV and 1.4 GWh of co-located energy storage, the remainder of which will be operational in 2023. The company secured US$2.6 billion of project financing back in November 2021, as reported by Energy-Storage.news, for the units which will all be located in California and Texas.

The Athos project, also called the Blythe Mesa solar, was built on land owned by the federal agency Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Intersect is also developing another solar-plus-storage project on BLM land, one which features a 500MW battery system, as reported by our sister site PV-Tech.

The mix of debt, tax equity and financing commitments was provided or arranged by HPS Investment Partners, Morgan Stanley Renewables Inc, MUFG, Santander Corporate & Investment Banking, Cobank, KeyBanc Capital Markets, Helaba, and Nord LB.

Then in June last year, it raised another US$750 million to expand its portfolio further.

The Athos project is expected to meet the domestic content and prevailing wage requirements in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to benefit from tax credits on the energy produced. It was originally developed by RRG Renewables, from which Intersect acquired it in 2020 at early-stage development before starting construction the following year.

Another feature of the IRA which may be worth noting is its introduction of an investment tax credit for standalone energy storage, something which was previously limited to co-located projects. A big portion of large energy storage projects in the last few years have been co-located in order to benefit from this, but Energy-Storage.news has been that the extension to standalone may see fewer of these built.

Energy-Storage.news’ publisher Solar Media will host the 5th Energy Storage Summit USA, 28-29 March 2023 in Austin, Texas. Featuring a packed programme of panels, presentations and fireside chats from industry leaders focusing on accelerating the market for energy storage across the country. For more information, go to the website.

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