Landmark financial deal for Luna Storage showcases standalone storage viability in pursuit of a more reliable grid

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sPower closes debt financing for a 400MWh standalone battery storage project in California. (Credit: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)

The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) announced the closing of $154.2 million in non-recourse debt financing for Luna Storage, a 400-megawatt hour standalone lithium-ion battery storage project in the City of Lancaster, in Los Angeles County, California. The transaction was closed by sPower, an Independent Power Producer (IPP), in late December 2020. In early January 2021, sPower merged to become part of AES’ clean energy business in the United States. The combined business represents one of the top renewables growth platforms in the country with the expertise to innovate customizable renewable energy solutions.

The $154.2 million non-recourse debt raise, arranged by KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Silicon Valley Bank, and Export Development Canada, is one of the largest financing deals for a utility-scale standalone battery storage project. An Energy Storage Agreement (ESA) with Clean Power Alliance (CPA) for Luna Storage was signed in April 2020, making this the largest ESA for a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) in California.

“We are thrilled to help utility-scale storage take a significant step forward in the financing space with the Luna Storage deal,” said Brian Callaway, Vice President of Growth Initiatives for AES Clean Energy. “Efficiently accessing and moving the capital markets for both ourselves and our customers is core to our business. I am grateful for the collaboration and commitment of our financing partners in bringing this innovative financial solution to life, setting a precedent for the future of energy storage deals.”

“Storage is at the dawn of a generational opportunity to advance our society into the energy future – and leading the Luna Storage transaction with our partners at AES Clean Energy has helped to pave the way,” said Aaron Klein, a Managing Director in KeyBanc Capital Markets Utilities, Power and Renewables Group.

“Closing this landmark debt financing deal underscores the advancements of standalone battery storage technology to help us transition to a reliable, carbon-free grid,” explained James Marshall, Chief Financial Officer for AES Clean Energy. “The Luna Storage project will enable Clean Power Alliance (CPA) to cost effectively integrate intermittent renewable energy resources into the grid, providing more reliability for their customers at a fixed price.”

Luna Storage has a 15-year contract and is expected to come online later in 2021. Once online, Luna Storage will help CPA and the broader state of California achieve their progressive renewable energy commitments by improving the statewide grid reliability with fossil-free resources.

Source: Company Press Release