Completes construction, term, and tax equity financing for 1.04 GW / 2.76 GWh in projects, including largest single project financing to date for standalone storage.
THE WOODLANDS, Texas, Oct. 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Plus Power LLC announced completion of $1.8 billion in new financing for standalone battery storage, including the largest single such project financing to date, to help stabilize the U.S. electrical grid while incorporating more solar and wind energy.
The company, which leads the sector for developing, owning, and operating standalone energy storage wherever on the grid it is most needed, will use the capital to fund the construction and operations of five projects. Plus Power has a rapidly growing portfolio of large-scale lithium-ion battery systems in more than 25 states and Canada, and the company is executing on 10 gigawatts of interconnection capacity now in transmission interconnection queues.
Today’s announcement includes Plus Power’s $707 million financing for the 250 megawatt Sierra Estrella Energy Storage facility in Avondale, Arizona, west of Phoenix. It will be the largest to date for a standalone energy storage project. The 11-acre footprint of the Sierra Estrella project allows the project to be sited without attached generation, closer to load.
The announced transactions are also supporting construction of 700 megawatts of batteries on the ERCOT grid in Texas. Three new Plus Power battery plants will begin operation by next summer to handle increased demand amid increasingly extreme temperatures and numerous days of scarce operating reserves on the power grid.
For example, as this year’s summer heat waves triggered record demand for electricity, Plus Power’s existing 100-megawatt Gambit Energy Storage facility in Angleton, Texas, repeatedly provided energy and ancillary grid services (such as regulation up and down, contingency reserve, and frequency response) to help grid operators stabilize the power system and avert a blackout.
The financing commitments announced today cover five projects totaling 1,040 megawatts of capacity (or 2,760 megawatt-hours). The transactions will support both 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 size and breadth of the financings by leading institutions – and the projects’ geographic and revenue structure diversity – highlights the variety of services and value that well-sited standalone energy storage can offer power markets.
“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 U.S. The scale highlights our first-mover advantage in bringing high-quality projects to market as well as the tremendous work by our fantastic team.”
Goldstein added, “We deeply value our financing partners who support the construction and operation of our wide portfolio across the U.S., enabling decarbonization and the transition to a more efficient grid.”
Among the completed transactions were construction, term, and tax equity financings totaling $884 million on three new standalone storage facilities in Texas. They bring Plus Power’s current ERCOT portfolio to 800 MW, or 1,575 MWh. 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. They include:
- $212.2 million of tax equity financing from Foss & Company, as well as $276 million of construction and term financing, for the 300 MW / 600 MWh Rodeo Ranch Energy Storage facility in Pecos.
- $196 million of construction and term financing for the 200 MW / 400 MWh Ebony Energy Storage facility in Comal County, northeast of San Antonio.
- $200 million of construction and term financing for the 200 MW / 400 MWh Anemoi Energy Storage facility in Hidalgo County, on the Mexican border northwest of Matamoros.
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 Sierra Estrella project was one of two Plus Power landmark project financings in Arizona that totaled $903 millionand 340 MW / 1,360 MWh. Both projects have 20-year energy storage services agreements with Salt River Project and are under construction, aiming to be online by the second quarter of 2024 in time for another summer of anticipated record peak demand. Norddeutsche Landesbank and Société Générale acted as coordinating lead arrangers while Mizuho, U.S. Bank, Bank of America, CoBank, and Siemens Financial Services, Inc. were joint lead arrangers. The financings include:
- $202 million of tax equity for the 250 MW / 1,000 MWh Sierra Estrella Energy Storage facility in Avondale from Bank of America, coupled with a $505 million construction, term loan, and letter of credit facility.
- $196 million construction, term loan and letter of credit facility for the 90 MW / 360 MWh Superstition Energy Storage project in Gilbert, southeast of Phoenix.
Capital partners praised the work as essential to maintaining a reliable grid while decarbonizing energy sources to combat climate change:
“As part of Bank of America’s $1.5 trillion sustainable finance commitment by 2030, we are scaling capital deployment for innovative decarbonization technologies like grid storage,” said Omer Farooq, Head of Sustainable Asset Finance within the Global Sustainable Finance Group at Bank of America. “We’re proud to be supporting Plus Power on this breakthrough transaction by delivering financing solutions that this industry needs to continue growing.”
“Plus Power is a market leader in the battery energy storage sector and we are honored to have collaborated with them on these breakthrough financings,” said Jeremy Eisman, Managing Director and Head of Infrastructure & Energy Financing at Deutsche Bank. “We acknowledge the important role that battery storage plays in ensuring a clean and reliable electric grid and look forward to continuing to support the Plus Power team’s continued growth in this sector.“
“As a leader in battery energy storage financing, First Citizens Bank was pleased to support Plus Power in arranging financing for these three significant projects,” said Mike Lorusso, managing director of First Citizens Bank‘s Energy group. “Energy storage continues to prove its value as a source of grid stability and flexibility as renewable power takes an ever-greater role in meeting the nation’s energy needs. Plus Power is a leading developer in this field and we look forward to working closely with them on future projects.”
“This project exemplifies Foss & Company’s unwavering commitment to pioneering sustainable energy solutions by collaborating with innovators such as Plus Power,” said Bryen Alperin, partner & managing director, Foss & Company. “This landmark venture not only signifies a significant step towards a more resilient and sustainable energy grid but also underscores our dedication to expanding the tax credit industry into new technologies, as we have done many times over our 40-year history. We believe this project will serve as a beacon, illuminating the path towards a cleaner and more sustainable energy future.”
Ed Emerson, Head of Global Commodities at Goldman Sachs said: “The Goldman Sachs commodities team is actively engaged in providing innovative solutions for Battery Energy Storage Systems and is happy to facilitate the growth of the next generation of utility-scale energy solutions that help enhance grid reliability. It was a pleasure partnering with the Plus Power Team on this unique hedging opportunity and we look forward to working with Plus as they continue to grow in the BESS space.”
“Nord/LB is honored to have supported industry leader, Plus Power, as CLA for the landmark stand-alone battery storage transactions, Sierra Estrella and Superstition Energy Storage. 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. “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.”
“Siemens Financial Services, Inc. (SFS) was pleased to support Plus Power and serve as a Joint Lead Arranger in all five of these critical battery energy storage projects,” said Anthony Casciano, President and CEO, SFS, Inc. “Working with Plus Power on the systematic decarbonization of the electricity grid directly aligns with our commitment to sustainability and was an obvious decision for SFS. We are excited to witness their impact on the clean energy transition and look forward to supporting Plus Power on future opportunities.”
“Societe Generale is pleased to have supported Plus Power – a leader in the renewables & energy storage market – in this landmark Battery Energy Storage financing,” said Eric Kim, the Head of Société Générale’s Energy+ Group. “Battery/Energy Storage plays a pivotal role in the country’s net zero ambitions by providing grid stability and on-demand availability. Societe Generale is looking forward to our continued collaboration with Plus Power.”
About Plus Power
The Plus Power team, led by seasoned executives from the renewables and energy storage industry, is accelerating the deployment of transmission-connected battery energy storage throughout the United States. Plus Power develops, owns, and operates standalone battery energy storage systems that foster grid flexibility by providing capacity, energy and ancillary services that enable rapid integration of renewable generation resources. Standalone energy storage, guided by Plus Power’s data-driven algorithms, is optimally sited to address grid congestion and wholesale market volatility. Headquartered in Houston, with offices in San Francisco, Chicago, and Miami, Plus Power operates at the nexus of energy, technology and finance. For more information, visit www.pluspower.com.