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Plus Power raises $1.8 billion for US energy storage facilities

Plus Power has raised $1.8 billion to construct battery energy storage system (BESS) facilities in Arizona’s Salt River Project and the ERCOT market in Texas.

From pv magazine USA

Texas-based Plus Power announced financing commitments of $1.8 billion to advance five large-scale battery energy storage projects totaling 2.76 GW/h. The company reports that the transactions will support construction and operations of the portfolio and include construction financing, term financing, letters of credit, and tax equity investments, in partnership with 11 leading industry lenders and investors.

The recent financing includes $707 million for the 250 MW Sierra Estrella Energy Storage facility in Avondale, Arizona, which is expected to be the largest standalone battery facility in Arizona once online. This financing is in addition to initial funding of $903 million.

“Over the last year, Plus Power has raised an unparalleled amount of capital for standalone storage projects from a wide range of leading energy project finance banks and investors,” said Josh Goldstein, chief financial officer of Plus Power. “This capital will support the ongoing buildout of the largest and most diverse portfolio of standalone storage projects in the US. The scale highlights our first-mover advantage in bringing high-quality projects to market as well as the tremendous work by our fantastic team.”

The Sierra Estrella facility is one of two battery storage projects the Salt River Project (SRP) announced in fall of 2022 with Plus Power, with both projects scheduled to come online by summer of 2024. The other, a 90 MW / 360 MWh project is called Superstition Energy Storage, which is planned for Gilbert, Arizona.

Norddeutsche Landesbank and Société Générale acted as coordinating lead arrangers while Mizuho, US Bank, Bank of America, CoBank, and Siemens Financial Services were joint lead arrangers.

The financing for the SRP facilities includes:

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  • Sierra Estrella (250 MW/1,000 MW/h): $202 million of tax equity from Bank of America coupled with a $505 million construction, term loan, and letter of credit facility.
  • Superstition Energy Storage (90 MW/360 MWh): $196 million construction, term loan and letter of credit facility.

The completed transactions were financings totaling $884 million to support construction of 700 MW of batteries on the ERCOT grid in Texas in the Ebony, Anemoi and Rodeo Ranch energy storage projects. Plus Power reports that while the Ebony and Anemoi projects are expected to operate as merchant resources in the ERCOT wholesale market, Plus Power executed an innovative hedge for Goldman Sachs’ commodities group for a portion of the Rodeo Ranch Energy Storage facility. The three storage facilities are expected to be operational next summer and are designed to bring stability to the ERCOT grid during high demand.

The financing for these projects brings Plus Power’s current ERCOT portfolio to 1.57 GW/h. Deutsche Bank and First Citizens Bank were the coordinating lead arrangers, with First Citizens Bank as the administrative agent and Siemens Financial Services, Inc. acting as the joint lead arranger.

The financing for the three ERCOT projects includes:

  • Rodeo Ranch Energy Storage (300 MW/600 MW/h): $212.2 million of tax equity financing from Foss & Company, as well as $276 million of construction and term financing, for the Rodeo Ranch Energy Storage facility in Pecos.
  • Ebony Energy Storage (200 MW/400 MW/h): $196 million of construction and term financing.
  • Anemoi Energy Storage (200 MW/400 MW/h) $200 million of construction and term financing.

Plus Power expects the Ebony and Anemoi projects to operate as merchant resources in the ERCOT wholesale market, while the company reportedly executed an innovative hedge for Goldman Sachs’ commodities group for a portion of the Rodeo Ranch Energy Storage facility.

“These financings demonstrate Nord/LB’s commitment to the battery energy storage sector as the bank continues to play a prominent role financing strategic assets to support the energy transition as part of the broader mission to achieve a net neutral, carbon free grid,” said Sondra Martinez, managing director, Nord/LB. “We look forward to continuing the strong relationship with Plus Power to support both our company’s goals of decarbonizing the energy grid with high-quality projects.”

Plus Power currently has a growing portfolio of large-scale lithium-ion battery systems in more than 25 states and Canada, and the company reports that it is executing on 10 GW of interconnection capacity now in transmission interconnection queues.

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Source: pv magazine