Energy storage takes center stage in the latest edition of the Solar Financing Spotlight, as NineDot Energy, RedoxBlox and Key Capture Energy have secured funding for upcoming projects. Meanwhile, Sunlight Financial and Altus Power are making moves on the investment, sales and acquisition front.
Community-scale battery energy storage systems (BESS) developer NineDot Energy has secured an additional $225 million equity capital commitment from Manulife Investment Management and Carlyle. This new equity funding is expected to allow NineDot to advance its substantial project pipeline in the New York City area and to expand geographically as well as potentially through acquisitions.
Manulife led the round with a $135 million commitment and concurrently acquired an equity interest. When combined with existing project financings from CIT, SMBC and NY Green Bank, a division of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), among others, NineDot has now secured a capital base of approximately $400 million.
“We are honored and excited to have Manulife Investment Management as a NineDot equity investor and partner,” said David Arfin, NineDot Energy CEO and cofounder. “From our first meeting it was clear that Manulife IM understood the importance of battery storage in modernizing the urban electric grid, making it cleaner, more resilient, more equitable and less costly.”
NineDot’s New York City battery storage projects support New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s goal to have 6,000 MW of energy storage capacity in the state by 2030, on the path to 100% zero-emission electricity for the state by 2040. Battery storage is a critical part of New York’s sustainable energy infrastructure, enabling more renewable energy on the grid, accelerating the retirement of the dirtiest “peaker” plants, and making the grid more stable and resilient.
NineDot is on track to achieve its goal of having 400 megawatts of battery storage capacity in development by the end of 2026, while adhering to the most stringent safety requirements for any jurisdiction in the United States as specified by the New York City Fire Department (FDNY). NineDot’s initial battery storage site, located in the Pelham Gardens neighborhood of the Northeast Bronx, became operational last summer – a first-of-its-kind community-scale battery storage system in NYC, designed to provide power and resilience to the local grid at times of peak demand. In addition, NineDot has approximately 30 projects under construction across the New York metro area, with many more in development.
As part of this transaction, Christopher McKenzie, a Managing Director on Manulife Investment Management’s Infrastructure team, will join NineDot’s Board of Directors.
RedoxBlox receives $25 million to demo pioneering energy storage tech
Energy storage provider RedoxBlox was awarded a total of $25 million to support demonstrations of its cutting-edge thermochemical energy storage (TCES) technology, which delivers zero-carbon electricity and heat. The company received $8.9 million from the California Energy Commission (CEC) and $6.7 million from the U.S. Department of Energy. These grants follow the company’s $9.4 million Series A financing led by Khosla Ventures.
RedoxBlox is at the forefront of high-temperature TCES systems with a mission to decarbonize two critical areas of the economy: industrial heat and renewable energy storage for the grid. The company’s innovative high-temperature thermochemical battery boasts energy densities comparable to lithium-ion batteries at a fraction of the cost. This advancement enables electrification of industrial heat for the difficult-to-decarbonize sectors including cement, steel, food and beverage, refining and chemicals manufacturing. It also enables more renewable electricity sources such as solar and wind to come onto the electrical grid through ultra-low-cost energy storage.
“Our goal is simple: Use electrification and thermochemical energy storage to compete as a zero-carbon replacement for natural gas,” said Dr. Joerg Petrasch, cofounder and CTO of RedoxBlox. “We have proven the science. Our focus now is to scale up to commercially relevant sizes. Funding from the DOE and CEC across two large markets and the partnerships with our customers across multiple industrial sectors are key enablers.”
In partnership with the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the CEC selected RedoxBlox to pioneer long-duration energy storage solutions. Hosted by UCSD, the project will leverage RedoxBlox’s technology to power a turbogenerator, providing up to 24 hours of energy storage capacity.
Similarly, the DOE’s Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office selected RedoxBlox for a first-of-its-kind, industrial-scale TCES, conducted in partnership with Dow and EPRI. This application will showcase the decarbonization of industrial steam at the Dow West Virginia plant through electrification using long-duration TCES. Both projects mark a pivotal step towards the decarbonization of industrial heat and grid storage at scale.
Key Capture Energy uses ITC transfer to fund storage projects
Key Capture Energy LLC (KCE) is using tax credits to fund three of its operating standalone battery energy storage projects with a total capacity of 120 MW. KCE and Enhanced Capital announced a deal on Jan. 4 to transfer investment tax credits (ITCs) to a third party with immediate monetization for the energy storage projects in Texas and New York.
“This marks a historic first for Key Capture Energy that will enable immediate and future investment in our portfolio and growth in markets across the country,” said John Bresnahan, KCE’s chief financial officer. “Working with Enhanced Capital to execute an industry leading ITC deal for standalone, utility scale battery storage has been a privilege, and we thank them for partnering with us to lead the transition to a clean energy grid.”
The transaction includes the transfer of ITCs from two operating projects in Texas, KCE TX 19 and KCE TX 21 in Williamson County, totaling 100 MW and one project in New York, KCE NY 6 in Erie County, a 20 MW project.
Sunlight Financial, Cross River Bank sell off $300 million solar loan asset pool
Sunlight Financial Holdings Inc. and Cross River Bank sold a pool of approximately $300 million in solar loan assets, demonstrating strong market confidence in Sunlight-sourced solar loans. The pool was acquired by a leading international investment entity renowned for its forward-thinking approach and substantial financial footprint.
“The quality and performance of Sunlight’s solar loan assets are a testament to the company’s diligence and innovative approach,” said Noah Cooper, Chief Investment Officer of Cross River. “This transaction affirms investor trust and ongoing value in the residential solar sector.”
Coupled with the recent capital infusion, this move signals Sunlight’s strong comeback and financial resilience while setting the stage for renewed expansion. Looking ahead, Sunlight is poised with a strong pipeline of innovative financing solutions and initiatives, reaffirming its commitment to installation partners and the market’s demand for its assets.
Altus Power secures $100 million to support solar development
Stamford, Connecticut-based Altus Power Inc. has closed on a secured credit facility having a principal loan amount of $100 million by an affiliate of Goldman Sachs Asset Management and CPPIB Credit Investments III Inc., a subsidiary of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments). Altus Power plans to use proceeds from the facility to support its ongoing expansion. The facility carries an interest rate of 8.50% and a term of six years and is prepayable without penalty after three years.
“Our pipeline includes an attractive flow of operating and development assets and, with this efficient financing, we’re well positioned to execute on these opportunities,” said Gregg Felton, cofounder and co-CEO of Altus Power. “We believe this new facility positions us to increase our market share while providing our counterparties with execution certainty and our shareholders with continued profitable growth.”
The new financing comes on the heals of a deal announced last month to acquire 121 MW in solar assets from by Basalt Infrastructure Partners LLC and Soltage LLC. Altus Power announced Dec. 21 that it had closed on its acquisition of Project Hyperion LLC, comprised of solar assets in North and South Carolina.
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