SUSI partners with Macquarie in first US energy storage deal

The Swiss firm funds transaction through €252m energy storage vehicle and says it will look for further opportunities in one of the sector’s ‘most mature’ markets.

SUSI Partners has sealed its first deal in the US by acquiring a 50 percent stake in a portfolio of lithium-ion battery projects from Macquarie Capital’s Green Investment Group. The Switzerland-based firm, which focuses on clean energy investment, is funding the deal through its SUSI Energy Storage Fund, a vehicle it closed on €252 million last June.

The portfolio, which has a total storage capacity of 63MW and comprises more than 90 battery storage assets, is in the western Los Angeles basin in California. It was developed by AMS, a local company that will continue to manage the assets. SUSI said GIG would retain the remaining 50 percent interest in the portfolio, noting that the assets are “substantially contracted for 10 years”.

“The US is indeed a target market for the SUSI Energy Storage Fund,” SUSI Partners’ investment director and lead for this transaction, Gustavo Coito, told Infrastructure Investor when asked whether the firm would look for other opportunities in the US. “Not only California has shown itself to be an attractive market for energy storage assets. We are also seeing some interesting trends in other states.

“The fund will continue to look at the US but, as part of the fund’s global mandate, and mindful of the target to have a geographically diversified portfolio, we continue to also focus on other geographies, such as Canada, Europe and Australia.”

Last June, Infrastructure Investor reported that when SUSI held a final close on the vehicle – the first energy storage fund ever raised – it had already deployed €90 million in two Canadian assets. Asked which assets currently comprise the fund’s portfolio, Coito replied that there was “a good mix of behind-the-metre and in-front-of-the-metre assets both already on the ground but also in the pipeline, where investments are expected to materialise soon”. He declined to comment further.