The rapid growth and integration of renewable energy resources coupled with the retirement of aging baseload thermal power plants created significant stress on portions of California’s electrical grid, especially in Southern California Edison’s (SCE) service territories in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) set out to address this problem 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 the in-development portfolio of distributed battery storage systems from AMS in 2016. The contracted, utility-scale portfolio gave Macquarie the opportunity to deploy capital and leverage its development expertise and renewable energy franchise in the US energy storage sector. The Portfolio contracted with 30 unique large-load ‘host’ customers to build and dispatch a fleet of 86 battery storage systems distributed across SCE’s West Los Angeles Basin service territory with the nameplate capacity to reduce up to 62 MW or 342 MWh of load from the grid. Macquarie’s infrastructure specialists and AMS jointly developed the portfolio and facilitated $200 million of project capital required to design and build the fleet of cutting-edge battery storage systems primarily utilizing Tesla’s Powerpack solution.
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.
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 deals in the emerging behind-the-meter energy storage sector, an industry first for this type of asset in the US.
The Portfolio is now operational, providing a range of grid services that include 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.