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New York-focused distributed BESS developer NineDot raises US$225 million equity investment

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Energy storage developer NineDot Energy has secured financing from investors including Manulife Investment Management to progress its pipeline of New York projects.

The company develops community-scale battery energy storage system (BESS) projects in the New York Metropolitan area. As such, in 2022 it became the first to install Tesla Megapack BESS units in the state with a 12MWh project in the Bronx neighbourhood of New York City (NYC).

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NineDot said yesterday (10 January) that it has secured US$225 million in equity capital commitments from Manulife Investment Management, which led the round with a US$135 million commitment, and another global investment firm, Carlyle.

The money brings NineDot’s investment raised to date to more than US$400 million and will be used to advance its NYC pipeline. It could also go towards expanding the company’s reach into other geographies or making acquisitions.

NineDot is thought to be developing around 30 to 40 separate lithium-ion BESS sites around the city, each planned as 5MW output with 4-hour duration (20MWh). It monetises the assets through available market and incentive programmes and in New York the major route to market is through the state’s Value of Distributed Energy Resources (VDER) programme.

VDER, set up by the regulatory New York Public Service Commission (PSC), pays compensation to distributed energy resources (DERs) like rooftop solar PV plants for supplying energy to the grid based on how much energy they put in, when they put it in and where.

In other words, it rewards DERs for the value their electrons provide to the network – inputting at peak times results in higher rates, for example.

As with community solar installations, customers can sign up as subscribers to NineDot’s projects, for example, in October, coffeehouse chain Starbucks subscribed to the developer’s battery storage site at Pelham Gardens in the Northeast Bronx, NYC.

To carry out projects, NineDot contracts with hardware and software providers including smart storage firm Stem Inc., with which it signed a deal for 100MWh of distributed storage projects in 2022. In July last year, the developer secured US$25 million from the NY Green Bank, a division of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), to advance grid connection work on an initial 14 projects in its portfolio.

Investment comes amid increased interest in distributed BESS

Energy-Storage.news Premium recently interviewed NineDot’s VP of product management Joe Silver, about his and the company’s role in New York City’s first-ever bidirectional vehicle-to-grid (V2G) trial with partners including V2G hardware and software specialist Fermata and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).  

Published earlier this week, Silver discusses the VDER programme, sometimes called the Value Stack because it allows DER asset operators to stack different tariffs based on the metrics of locational, demand response and other values.

The article also highlighted that distributed energy storage solutions look to have a big role to play in New York, helping the state to get to the targeted 6GW of energy storage by 2030 which has been set by Governor Kathy Hochul.

NineDot’s announcement comes in the same week that Hochul gave her annual State of the State Address to New Yorkers, in which the governor revealed plans to streamline permitting and environmental review processes for community renewables projects.

Also this week, the New York Power Authority (NYPA), the state-owned utility which provides about a quarter of New York’s electric load, launched a Request for Information (RFI) regarding joint development opportunities for solar PV, wind and energy storage projects.

Energy-Storage.news’ publisher Solar Media will host the 6th Energy Storage Summit USA, 19-20 March 2024 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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