CIT, Macquarie Provide $100MM Financing for CA Battery Storage Project

Macquarie Capital closed of a $100 million debt financing of an innovative battery-based energy storage project in Southern California.

CIT Group, which led the initial financing through its Energy Finance unit, was also the lead investor in the refinancing, joined by Rabobank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking.

The financing is part of a 52.5 MW / 315 MWh project for Southern California Edison (SCE) which backs the existing 66 MWh portfolio and funds construction of an additional 177 MWh portfolio of behind-the-meter, battery storage systems located in certain grid-constrained pockets of the West Los Angeles Basin service territory. 

In 2017, the project became the first non-recourse project financing of battery-based energy storage systems. Macquarie Capital acquired the portfolio from AMS August 2016 and both have been jointly developing and constructing it.

“We are pleased to secure the financing for the next phase of development for this innovative battery storage infrastructure project in Southern California, said Chris Archer head of Green Energy Americas for Macquarie Capital. “CIT has been an outstanding financing partner and believer in our track record of financing and developing distributed power assets and we are delighted to welcome new lenders to this growing asset class.”

“CIT is proud to lead the financing of this landmark project, which demonstrates our ongoing commitment to supporting innovation and sustainable solutions in the energy sector,” said Mike Lorusso, managing director and group head for CIT’s Energy Finance unit, part of the company’s Commercial Finance division.

Grid-connected battery storage solutions are increasingly recognized as ways to accelerate adoption of clean energy resources, as well as improve the operating capabilities of the grid, while lowering costs and ensuring reliability.

The fleet of energy storage systems, which are located at various large-load commercial, industrial and government host sites in Los Angeles and Orange counties, will be used for utility grid services including flexible and reserve capacity, solar integration and voltage management in addition to retail energy services such as demand management, back up generation and enhanced power quality.

As part of the project, Irvine Ranch Water District and Macquarie Capital in June announced completion of the nation’s largest energy storage system being used for on-site power – a 2.5 MW/15MWh installation now powering the District’s largest water recycling plant. 

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