Developer Plus Power’s recent financing for BESS projects in Arizona and Texas shows it “driving energy storage into the mainstream of capital markets”, executive chairman Brandon Keefe told Energy-Storage.news.
The company completed a US$1.8 billion round of construction, term loan and tax equity financing for three battery energy storage system (BESS) projects in Texas and two in Arizona totalling nearly 3GWh of capacity last month. The projects will come online in 2023 and 2024.
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In additional comments provided to Energy-Storage.news, Keefe said: “Our announcement shows battery energy storage now achieving scale and impact. We showed we are driving energy storage into the mainstream in the capital markets. Energy storage is growing at a 23% CAGR through 2030—that is 150% of tech.”
Plus Power has contracted inverter and BESS integrator Sungrow – the largest by deployments globally in 2022 – to provide the BESS technology for the Texas projects while EV giant Tesla will provide the BESS for the projects in Arizona, for which the offtaker is local utility Salt River Project (SRP).
“Basically, this announcement signals that our customers and grid operators are asking for us to move bigger and faster, because we are demonstrating how successfully standalone batteries are solving grid problems,” Keefe added.
Elaborating on the significance of, and learnings from the mega-financing, Keefe said the financial institutions provided the capital as they saw the projects’ durable, diversified returns and the technology’s pivotal role in enabling decarbonisation and the move to a more efficient grid.
Keefe: “This capital will support the ongoing buildout of the largest and most diverse portfolio of standalone storage projects in the US. To execute on this portfolio, Plus Power has built world-class EPC (engineering, procurement and construction), supply chain, and asset and risk management teams to deliver these grid services. ”
“For most in the field, battery energy storage is new and complex. For a first mover like Plus Power, we are encountering and solving execution challenges first. Our success in delivering and performing in Texas and the Southwest is paving the way for our future financings in other markets. ”
Plus Power last year secured 6.5GWh of BESS to serve its projects to 2025 making it “positioned well” to complete these projects, Keefe said, confirming what others have told Energy-Storage.news about the main bottleneck for BESS projects now being for other equipment such as transformers.
He also commented on a Project in Smyth County, Virginia, which Plus Power recently proposed, the 250MW/1,000MWh Laurel Creek Energy Storage project.
“The Laurel Creek Energy Storage project in Smyth County will perform as a merchant project. Its location is positioned at a critically-important substation for the AEP grid. Its 2029 completion will greatly support power reliability and contribute to Virginia’s goals of 3,100 MW of energy storage by 2032,” he said.
Energy-Storage.news covered trade body American Clean Power’s (ACP) report which has revealed large-scale BESS deployments in the US in 2023 had already exceeded the whole of 2022 by the end of September, earlier today. Arizona and Texas are leading the charge along with the largest market, California.
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