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Ameresco, a Massachusetts-based renewable energy developer, has secured contracts to design and build four battery energy storage system (BESS) projects totalling 379 megawatt-hours (MWh) in California from Avenue Capital’s Middle River Power (MRP).

The four BESS projects will be co-located at gas power plants owned by MRP.

MRP aims to enhance the efficiency of its natural gas-fired power plants, thereby reducing emissions and adding resource capacity to the Californian power grid.

The BESS projects will also facilitate California’s 2045 target of 100% renewable energy.

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By GlobalData

Ameresco West and Europe regions general manager and executive vice-president Britta MacIntosh stated: “Energy storage is pivotal for ensuring resource adequacy and resiliency in California.

“To better prepare California for unforeseen disruptions to the grid, our team will work in concert with Middle River Power to fully integrate emission-reducing battery energy storage technology into four of its California-based gas power plants to ensure we meet California’s clean energy goals.”

Work on the projects will begin in the summer of 2023 and is expected to be complete in the third quarter of 2024.

MRP currently operates ten natural gas-fired power plants across the US. Of these, eight are located in California.

The company is developing a further 12 projects and has previously concluded two development projects in the state: a solar plus storage facility and a stand-alone storage project co-located with a geothermal plant.

Middle River Power CEO Mark Kubow stated: “We are thrilled to work with Ameresco to bring these innovative projects to fruition, integrating additional renewable energy while enhancing a resilient grid.

“The energy storage assets allow for the shifting of solar energy from the middle of the day to supply the grid during evening peak hours, while maintaining our natural gas facilities as a flexible, reliable backstop.

“We are excited to introduce our first tranche of projects that takes such a meaningful step in helping California in the transition to more renewable resources.”

In June 2023, Ameresco and its partner Atura Power were selected to build a 250MW/1,000MWh BESS project in Ontario, Canada.