Energy storage is on. CIT Bank will lead debt financing for 50 megawatts of battery storage in a project that represents a new way to manage electrical grids and renewable energy generation.
The storage projects were acquired last summer by Macquarie Group, a large infrastructure manager, from Advanced Microgrid Solutions, a San Francisco startup that is pioneering the use of banks of batteries to manage loads and reduce costs.
Cost-effective energy storage is key to the broad deployment of intermittent solar and wind power, and gives grid operators, such as Southern California Edison, reserve capacity to manage demand peaks.
SoCal Edison has a 10-year contract to buy power from the projects, which will also generate revenues from Cal State Long Beach and Irvine Co., where the battery banks will be installed.
Macquarie expects billions of dollars of energy storage financing deals in the next few years.
Advanced Microgrid is one of the biggest buyers of Tesla’s Powerpack 2 lithium-ion batteries and the two companies share an early investor, Nancy Pfund’s DBL Partners.
“The era of energy storage has begun,” declared Advanced Microgrid’s Susan Kennedy.
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Energy Storage Takes Shape with Financing for Southern California Battery Installations, by David Bank, ImpactAlpha, March 31, 2017.