Sunrise brief: Tesla batteries will energize a 240 MWh Apple energy storage project


Apple is building a 60 MW, 240 MWh battery-based renewable energy storage facility near the California Flats solar installation in southeastern Monterey County, in the central part of the state. Documents seen by pv magazine USA show that Tesla will supply up to 85 of its Megapack battery units for the project.

FirstSolar developed the 280 MW California Flats project in 2016. Utility Pacific Gas & Electric has a power purchase agreement (PPA) for 150 MW of capacity, and Apple has a PPA for the remaining 130 MW.

Construction of the energy storage system includes an interconnection to an existing 230 kV circuit and a 34.5 kV feeder complete with fiber optic cable between the substation and the storage system.

Apple also said that more than 110 of its global suppliers are moving to 100% renewable energy for their Apple production, with nearly 8 GW of planned energy projects set to come online.

BESS for SaskPower

Canadian utility SaskPower said it will build a 20 MWh battery energy storage system at a switching station in Regina, the capital of Saskatchewan. The utility said it is applying for federal funding under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to help cover some of the project costs, which it said would total C$26 million ($20.65 million).

SaskPower said it will select technology for the project by mid-year, start construction in late 2021, and energize the facility by mid-2022.

Cleantech investment partnership

Investment manager Energize Ventures and investment group Caisse de dépot et placement du Québec (CDPQ) announced a partnership under which CDPQ will invest up to $125 million over the next three years in ventures to accelerate the digital transformation of energy and sustainable industry sectors.

Energize and CDPQ will share industry knowledge with respect to climate and sustainable investments, emphasizing digital innovations that advance the energy transition. Examples include technologies aimed at addressing climate change, electrifying mobility, and accelerating the deployment and adoption of renewable energy.

Energize Ventures said its Energize Fund I has invested nearly $200 million across 14 companies, including Volta Charging, Aurora Solar, Jupiter Intelligence, Fast Radius, and DroneDeploy. Energize is backed by entities that include CDPQ, Invenergy, Schneider Electric, General Electric, and Caterpillar.

Loanpal securitization

Solar lender Loanpal said that two Goldman Sachs-sponsored packages closed a securitization of around $421 million worth of residential solar loans previously purchased by Goldman Sachs, GoodFinch, Blackstone Credit, and Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP. Goldman and Credit Suisse acted as joint bookrunners on the securitization.

Loanpal said that more than two dozen investors took part in the oversubscribed transaction, its second to close in 2021. The securitization consisted of $343.4 million of three classes of rated notes with a weighted average coupon rate of 2.39%. At the time of originations, the weighted average FICO score of the loans was 744.

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