Building tomorrow’s energy grid with AMS, CIT and Tesla

Landmark financing of a utility-scale, behind-the-meter battery portfolio that will help alleviate grid congestion and lower customer electricity bills across the West Los Angeles Basin.

A partnership for the future

The rapid growth and integration of renewable energy resources coupled with the retirement of aging baseload generators has created significant stress on portions of California’s grid, especially in Southern California Edison’s (SCE) service territory in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) set out to address this by developing an aggregated fleet of battery-based energy storage systems co-located at SCE’s large-load commercial and industrial customers. 

Recognizing this growing need for grid support, Macquarie Capital (Macquarie) acquired a 50MW in-development portfolio of distributed battery storage systems from AMS in 2016. The portfolio gives Macquarie the opportunity to deploy capital and leverage its development expertise and renewable energy franchise in the US energy storage sector. The portfolio will include approximately 100 sites in the West Los Angeles Basin, and be rolled-out over the next 12-18 months across commercial and industrial customers in the SCE service territory. Macquarie will jointly develop the project alongside AMS, and facilitate the $200 million of project capital required to design and build the portfolio. 

Together we are delivering best-in-class storage solutions to build tomorrow's energy grid.

Kelly Warner, President of AMS

Grid-connected battery storage solutions are increasingly recognized as a way to accelerate America's adoption of clean energy resources, as well as improve the operating capabilities of the grid, while lowering costs and ensuring reliability1. Upon completion, Macquarie and AMS’ projects will provide a range of grid services including flexible reserve capacity, solar integration and voltage management, as well as retail energy services to its host customers including demand charge management, back up generation and enhanced power quality.

Following the acquisition of the portfolio, Macquarie’s team of experts structured, arranged and established a bankable contractual framework to execute one of the largest project financing in the emerging behind-the-meter energy storage sector, an industry first for this type of asset in the US.

This financing helps facilitate the design and construction of the portfolio over the next 24 months, with Macquarie’s infrastructure specialists and AMS working together to develop and operate the fleet of cutting-edge battery storage systems utilizing Tesla’s Powerpack solution.

Macquarie was able to secure this unique opportunity based on our sector and in-house development capabilities, and comprehensive platform offering. Our deep expertise in infrastructure enabled us to structure a traditional project finance solution for the portfolio. As demand for energy storage continues to grow, this transaction should serve as a model for future financings in this exciting asset class.

Image 1: Array of Tesla Powerpacks at 20 Pacifica
Image 2: 20 Pacifica, home to our first 6-hour battery installation


Contact us

Rob Kupchak
Head of U.S. Infrastructure
Tel: +1 212 231 1685

Dan Cary
Vice President
Tel: +1 212 231 6157

Chris Calavitta
Senior Vice President
Tel: +1 512 712 1932