Recurrent Energy, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canadian Solar Inc. has expanded its energy storage footprint in the United States with several leading Battery Energy Storage Systems (“BESS”) contracted to be built in 2021 and 2022. These projects span retrofits as-a-service, solar plus storage PPAs, and stand-alone storage tolling agreements.
California’s rapidly evolving energy landscape and aggressive carbon reduction goals are increasing the need for energy storage technologies. Southern California Edison (“SCE”) awarded Recurrent Energy a long-term contract beginning in the summer of 2022 for the 200 MW / 800 MWh Crimson BESS project, representing one of the largest stand-alone storage contracts in the U.S. The California Public Utility Commission recently voted to approve the Crimson project’s contract with SCE and the United States Interior Department recently announced that the Bureau of Land Management has given final approval to site the Crimson project on public lands in the California desert, in Riverside County.
Furthermore, Recurrent Energy has partnered with Southern Power and AIP Management (“AIP”) to provide development services to add 72 MW / 288 MWh of energy storage to the 200 MWac Tranquillity solar project located in Fresno County, California, and 88 MW / 352 MWh of energy storage to the 200 MWac Garland solar project located in Kern County, California. The Tranquillity and Garland solar PV projects were originally developed and constructed by Recurrent Energy in 2016 and are currently owned by Southern Power and AIP. BESS retrofits on both projects are currently under construction.
Recurrent Energy is also in the process of constructing the Slate project (300 MWac solar plus 140.25 MW / 561 MWh storage) and the 75 MW / 300 MWh BESS retrofit to the 100 MWac Mustang solar project. Slate and Mustang are both located in Kings County, California and are owned by Goldman Sachs Renewable Power LLC.
The above referenced energy storage projects will deliver significant benefits to California. In addition to supporting a total of more than 400 local construction jobs, the projects will enhance California’s grid reliability by providing critically needed resource adequacy capacity, with the ability to send energy to the grid during heatwaves and other peak demand events. The California Energy Commission has noted in the past that natural gas-fired peaking plants are used in the state when peak demand for electricity is too high to be met by other resources. By storing renewable generation when production exceeds demand, energy storage can be used in place of natural gas peaking plants during the highest electricity demand hours.
With a pipeline of around 11 GWh of battery storage projects across the United States, of which 2.3 GWh are in late-stage development, Recurrent Energy has been actively developing both PV solar plus energy storage and standalone storage projects since 2014. Recurrent Energy boasts a dedicated energy storage team with extensive design, energy marketing and optimization experience. Over the past years, it has solidified its market leadership position by developing innovative solar-plus-storage and storage-only projects and offtake agreements in numerous markets throughout the United States.
In collaboration with Recurrent Energy’s project development team, Canadian Solar’s majority-owned CSI Solar subsidiary delivers competitive, highly bankable and fully-integrated battery storage solutions to support the recent acceleration in demand. Canadian Solar’s global project development business, or Global Energy Group, continues to expand and focus on energy storage, with a combined total pipeline of more than 5,328 MW / 16,875 MWh.
Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar said, “Solar is expected to have another record-breaking year in the U.S., with 23.8 GWdc in new capacity expected to come online in 2021, along with nearly 12 GWh of battery storage, more than doubling existing capacity. We applaud our customers for their commitment to use cost-effective lithium-ion storage capacity with minimal carbon footprint to enable a cleaner energy economy and brighter future. We are pleased to continue to offer flexible and reliable clean energy solutions for our customers and the communities we serve across the United States.”