Plus Power raises $1.8 billion for standalone storage buildout | Solar Financing Spotlight

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Plus Power has secured $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. Read more about this and other financing news in our Solar Financing Spotlight.

Plus Power’s major funding announcement includes $707 million financing for the 250 MW 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.

Among the completed transactions were construction, term and tax equity financings totaling $884 million on three new standalone storage facilities in Texas, totaling 700 MW. The projects bring Plus Power’s current ERCOT portfolio to 800 MW, or 1.575 GWh. The projects include:

  • $212.2 million of tax equity financing and $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.

The financing commitments also cover five projects totaling 1.04 GW of capacity (or 2.76 GWh). 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.

“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.”  

PG&E launches incentive program to fund microgrids

With a $79 million boost from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) unveiled its Microgrid Incentive Program (MIP) and handbook, providing funding, expertise and guidance for building community, local and tribal government-proposed multi-customer microgrids.

The MIP is a new, statewide $200 million competitive grant program that will fund clean- energy community microgrids in disadvantaged and vulnerable communities.

The CPUC authorized and approved the new program, allocating $79.2 million in project funding for PG&E, $83.3 million for Southern California Edison, and $17.5 million for San Diego Gas and Electric. Projects selected under the MIP can receive up to $15 million in award funding each for the design and development of a multi-customer, front-of- the-meter community microgrid.

The MIP stands beside PG&E’s Community Microgrid Enablement Program (CMEP), and together the two programs provide comprehensive financial and technical support for both the distributed energy resources and other costs necessary to develop and energize eligible microgrids, as well as the electric distribution system upgrades necessary to enable the safe islanding of the microgrid. Interested parties can apply for either one individually, or for both programs together.

“PG&E is paving the way for more community-proposed microgrids to be constructed in our service area through the Community Microgrid Enablement Program and Tariff, and the Microgrid Incentive Program will now also play a key role in advancing the development and facilitating the commercialization of clean-energy microgrids,” said Jason Glickman, executive VP of engineering, planning and strategy at PG&E. “Several additional large-scale, community microgrids are expected to be deployed throughout PG&E’s Northern and Central California service area under the Microgrid Incentive Program over the next several years, and we look forward to continue engaging with customers and communities to bring these resilience solutions to our hometowns.”

The Redwood Coast Airport Microgrid is the first fully renewable, multi-customer microgrid deployed in PG&E’s service area. It serves as the model for additional multi-customer microgrids to be deployed in California, and the Community Microgrid Enablement Tariff was also a product of its development.

Evergrow announces first funding of IRA clean energy tax credit transfer

Clean energy financier Evergrow has successfully completed the funding of a clean energy tax credit transfer on its platform, the first of its kind to be announced. This announcement follows the recent publication of tax credit transfer guidance by the IRS and the recent announcement by Bank of America of its commitment to orchestrate transfer of $580 million of clean energy tax credits.

Tax credit transfers are a new way to fund the development of clean energy in the United States. These transactions were enabled by the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA). Developers and owners of clean energy projects can sell their tax credits to raise funding. With demand for clean energy tax financing expected to exceed $80 billion by 2031, this funding helps pay for the cost of building clean energy projects, such as solar power, battery storage, electric vehicle chargers, and more.

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