Jupiter Power secures US$70 million for 320MWh ERCOT projects


Developer Jupiter Power has announced US$70.4 million in loan financing for two battery storage projects in ERCOT, Texas, arranged by First Citizens Bank.

Through its Energy Finance group, First Citizens acted as Coordinating Lead Arranger on the construction and term loan financing facility for the standalone battery energy storage system (BESS) projects, Jupiter said yesterday (17 July). BankUnited, N.A. and Siemens Financial Services were Joint Lead Arrangers.

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The two BESS projects total 160MW/320MWh of energy storage capacity although no more details were given on them.

However, First Citizens’ Energy Finance group’s criteria for project financing indicates the projects have committed equity and are in late stage development with all requirements for construction or operation in place.

Jupiter Power, which was acquired by asset manager BlackRock late last year, only lists six projects on its website in ERCOT, all already operational totalling 655MWh of capacity. But none of them can combine to add up to 160MW/320MWh, and in any case it already secured debt financing for that portfolio in April 2022.

It has been quiet on announcements since becoming part of the Blackrock having announced numerous projects over 2022. It enlisted Energy Vault, the company known for its gravity-based technology, to deploy 220MWh of BESS in Texas and California in August, and a month later announced plans for 2.4GWh of ‘US-localised battery storage’ with the firm.

The firm has 340MWh of projects in or ‘near’ construction including its first in California, it said at the time of the BlackRock acquisition.

The ERCOT, Texas market, is the most active in the US along with California, as developers seek to capitalise on a big ancillary services market and increasing price volatility amidst massive growth in renewable generation. It accounted for 70% of BESS deployments in the US in the first quarter.

However, average revenues may begin to fall from next year as ancillary service market begin to saturate and state-of-charge (SOC) requirements for those services limit participation, Energy-Storage.news recently wrote in a Premium article. The state continues to see a severe heatwave with temperatures consistently hitting the high 30s, and BESS units are helping grid operator ERCOT to manage the challenges that come with this.

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