Deal with Borrego includes Greenbacker’s first standalone battery storage development assets and two solar portfolios
New York, NY, March 1, 2022 — Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company LLC (“GREC” or “Greenbacker”), a leading owner and operator of sustainable infrastructure and energy efficiency projects, announced today that, through a wholly owned subsidiary, it has purchased a pre-operational energy storage portfolio and two pre-operational solar portfolios from Borrego—a leading developer; engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) provider; and operations and maintenance provider for large-scale renewable energy projects throughout the US. The storage portfolio represents GREC’s first assets in the standalone battery storage development space, a sector critical to greater grid resilience.
The two projects in the storage portfolio, located in New York City, will have a total power capacity of 10 MW and be able to store up to 40 MWh of energy. Both are front-of-meter assets, meaning consumers will access the stored power via the electric grid. Battery storage systems offer distinct benefits for consumers. They can lower electric bills by deploying stored energy during periods of peak demand and improve electric grid resiliency by saving power reserves for specific use during emergencies and power outages. The portfolio also contributes to New York’s energy storage target, which was increased in early 2022—doubling from 3 GW to 6 GW by 2030.1
“We’re thrilled to expand our operational standalone battery storage portfolio to include storage assets in development,” said Charles Wheeler, CEO of GREC. “Our ongoing partnership with Borrego has allowed us to expand into this new market, and we very much look forward to teaming up with them on future opportunities across the renewables asset class.”
The Illinois and Maine portfolios will contribute to cheaper clean energy for consumers across both states. The Illinois portfolio is made up of four distributed community solar projects (totaling roughly 12 MWdc) in the northern part of the state. At least 50% of the portfolio’s consumer base will be allocated to small subscribers, contributing to more equitable renewable energy access. The portfolio will participate in the Illinois Shines solar incentive program, which gives subscribers credits on their power bills for using the projects’ solar energy.2 The projects will also provide income to local landowners through long-term land leases.
The three solar projects in the Maine portfolio, which total around 17 MWdc, are located in separate counties across the state. Two of those projects are community solar and one has a commercial power purchase agreement. Each project is preapproved for the state’s Net Energy Billing program, which was capped in early 2021. The program encourages renewables by allowing consumers to offset their electric bills by the net amount of clean energy they generate on their property or use from community systems.3
“In addition to companies and cities, the clean energy transition should also be accessible to individual consumers,” added Wheeler. “We’re excited that a portion of clean power from our community solar projects will be designated for small subscribers, driving more equitable access to cheaper clean energy across the country.”
Both the NYC and Illinois portfolios are slated to reach commercial operation in the first half of 2023. The Maine portfolio is expected to enter commercial operation at the end of 2022.
“Borrego and Greenbacker have worked together closely for years, and these latest energy storage and community solar transactions mark an exciting new chapter in our partnership,” said Brendan Neagle, EVP of Project Finance at Borrego. “While we have been the EPC contractor of record on many Greenbacker projects, this is the first time Greenbacker has bought a significant group of assets from Borrego’s development portfolio.”
The NYC portfolio is set to participate in New York’s Value of Distributed Energy Resources program for standalone battery storage, an incentive that credits energy storage system owners for the electricity they inject into the grid.4
Greenbacker’s fleet of sustainable infrastructure projects comprises approximately 2.6 GW of generating capacity (including these portfolios and assets that are to be constructed). Since 2016, Greenbacker’s real assets have produced approximately 3.4 million megawatt-hours5 of clean energy, abating 2.4 million metric tons of carbon.6 Today these projects support 3,200 green jobs.7
1 “NY-BEST Applauds Governor Hochul’s Energy Storage Initiatives in 2022 State of the State Address,” New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium, January 5, 2022.
2 Illinois Shines website, https://illinoisshines.com/solar-info/.
3 Maine state website, https://www.maine.gov/mpuc/regulated-utilities/electricity/neb.
4 New York state website, The Value Stack Reference Guide for Energy Storage Developers.
5 Data is as of September 30, 2021.
6 Carbon abatement is calculated using the EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator which uses the AVoided Emissions and geneRation Tool (AVERT) US national weighted average CO2 marginal emission rate to convert reductions of kilowatt-hours into avoided units of carbon dioxide emissions. Data is as of September 30, 2021.
7 Green jobs are calculated from the International Renewable Energy Agency‘s measurement that one megawatt of renewable power supports 3.8 jobs. Data is as of September 30, 2021.