SMT Energy LLC (“SMT”), an experienced developer and operator of renewable energy and energy storage projects in the U.S., has reached an agreement with SUSI Partners AG (“SUSI”), a leading Swiss-based sustainable energy infrastructure fund manager, to jointly develop, own and operate multiple battery energy storage systems (“BESS”) in the United States.
The SUSI-SMT partnership incorporates a ready-to-build portfolio of ten (10) standalone BESS projects in South Texas, with a combined capacity of 100 MW. The assets are expected to commence commercial operations in the first half of 2023 and will alleviate pressure on power grids by balancing mismatches in electricity supply and demand. In addition to the initial portfolio, the partnership includes a further capital commitment to develop, own and operate additional BESS projects.
David Spotts, Co-Founder of SMT noted, “This portfolio, and partnership with SUSI, is a key step in SMT’s efforts to lead the U.S.’ energy transition in battery energy storage development. Bringing this portfolio into service will advance SMT Energy’s commitment to the development of clean energy infrastructure in ERCOT and signals our continued expansion into the BESS market.”
Texas’ electricity grid has been under high scrutiny with both winter storms and extremely high summer temperatures presenting challenges that are only expected to increase in frequency as climate change progresses. While renewable energy generation has proven invaluable in the face of recent spikes in power demand, its integration has far outpaced the buildout of energy storage capacity, which is crucial to counterbalance intermittencies in power supply. The need for storage is further accentuated by pending retirements of thermal generation plants, which are expected to keep price volatility at a high level throughout the 2020s.
“In just over one year we were able to bring this portfolio from ideation to shovel-ready,” stated John Switzer, Co-Founder of SMT. “The vision was to own and operate a fully merchant, front-of-the-meter energy storage portfolio in Texas, and it took the right partner to appreciate our concept. SMT is thankful to the entire SUSI team for their efforts and look forward to the partnership as a springboard for further BESS projects across the U.S.”
Richard Braakenburg, Head Equity Investments at SUSI Partners, said: “SUSI Partners has a longstanding track record of investing across the entire energy transition spectrum. Having successfully finalized the deployment of our dedicated energy storage fund last year, this investment through our equity energy transition fund continues our commitment to battery storage as an important enabler of renewables integration. We see a lot of potential in the U.S. market and look forward to our cooperation with SMT Energy to deliver clean energy solutions to the world’s largest economy.“