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US energy storage investor Eolian continues to raise funds with US$515 million Green Loan

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Eolian has taken the amount of financing it has raised in just three years since founding to more than a billion-and-a-half-dollars.

The US-based energy storage developer-investor said yesterday that it had closed a renewable energy green loan worth US$515 million with major international banking groups Banco Santander, MUFJ, National Australia Bank, Natixis and SMBC.

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Without giving further details, the company said secured the loan from a group of eligible green energy projects developed by it and the funds that preceded its founding in 2020 by CEO Aaron Zubaaty, backed by asset management group Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP).

That means the projects and the loan meet the Green Loan Principles, which were published by three international loans and markets associations in February.

The principles are a framework for green lending ordered around four “core components”, as the Loan Markets Association describes it:

1. Proceeds of loans must be used towards green projects, which include various categories from renewable energy to energy efficiency, pollution control, protections for biodiversity, clean transportation and more. Energy storage is eligible as a “green technology” separate to renewables but in the same category as carbon extraction technologies.

2.  Process for evaluation and selection of projects to receive funding for should be made clear, transparent and well-communicated by borrowers to lenders.

3. Proceeds of the loan must be managed in a transparent and accountable manner.

4. Borrowers must report on how the proceeds are being used on a regular basis until the full loan is drawn down.

Eolian has become a prolific developer of standalone energy storage assets in key US markets, particularly Texas, having acquired the development portfolio of energy storage developer Able Grid.

Earlier this year the investor made headlines as it became the first company to claim it had successfully availed of investment tax credit (ITC) incentives for a 200MW battery energy storage system (BESS) project in Texas. One of its projects in Massachusetts appears to have recently hit the buffers however, due to a zoning row, according to local press.

Following a US$100 million investment commitment from French bank Natixis in 2021, in April 2022, Eolian closed US$925 million financing from investors including Banco Santander, MUFJ and others, making it the biggest single recipient of corporate funding in the battery storage sector in the first half of last year, as noted by market analysis firm Mercom Capital.

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