The 250MW/1,000MWh Sierra Estrella BESS project in Arizona, on which construction started in April 2023, will be the biggest recipient with US$707 million in financing. That is the largest financing for a standalone BESS project to-date, Plus Power said, and comprises US$202 million in tax equity from Bank of America and US$505 million in construction financing, term loan and a letter of credit.
See the how the US$1.8 billion package splits out between the projects and financing types in the visualisation below, by hovering over the inner ring (project) and outer ring (financing type).
The package includes US$196 million construction, term loan and letter of credit facility for the 90MW/360MWh Superstition project, also in Arizona.
Both of the Arizona projects have 20-year energy storage tolling agreements with local utility Salt River Project (SRP) and are scheduled to be online by Q2 2024.
The financing also comprises US$884 million for support the deployment of three projects in the ERCOT, Texas market totalling 700MW. They are the:
- 300MW/600MWh Rodeo Ranch Energy Storage project
- 200MW/400MWh Ebony Energy Storage project
- 200MW/400MWh Anemoi Energy Storage project
Rodeo Ranch’s portion was comprised of US$212 million in tax equity financing from tax equity specialist financial firm Foss & Company as well as US$276 million in construction and term financing, while Ebony and Anemoi were just construction and term financing.
Participating banks in the financing for the ERCOT projects were Deutsche Bank, First Citizens Bank and Siemens Financial Services. The Arizona package was put together by Norddeutsche Landesbank, Société Générale, Mizuho, U.S. Bank, Bank of America, CoBank, and Siemens Financial Services.
The Ebony and Anemoi projects in ERCOT are expected to operate as merchant resources in the wholesale market, as most projects in the Texan grid operator’s market do, but Plus Power executed a hedge for Goldman Sachs’ commodities group for a portion of the Rodeo Ranch Energy Storage project.
Plus Power didn’t say when the ERCOT projects were expected to come online, but on its website says Rodeo Ranch will be online before the end of 2023 while Ebony and Anemoi are expected in Spring 2024.
The tax equity financings of around US$200 million each for Sierra Estrella and Rodeo Ranch are amongst the largest announced for standalone BESS projects since the Inflation Reduction Act made standalone energy storage eligible for the financing mechanism at the start of the year.
Their providers, Foss & Company and Bank of America, recently committed to facilitating US$3 billion and US$580 million in tax equity investments for energy storage and clean energy respectively.
Josh Goldstein, Plus Power CFO said: “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.”
“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.”
Our publisher Solar Media is hosting the 10th Solar and Storage Finance USA conference, 7-8 November 2023 at the New Yorker Hotel, New York. Topics ranging from the Inflation Reduction Act to optimising asset revenues, the financing landscape in 2023 and much more will be discussed. See the official site for more details.