Crimson Storage is now providing flexible generation to the California grid and reliability benefits to California customers
PVTIME – Axium Infrastructure (“Axium”) and Canadian Solar Inc.‘s (“Canadian Solar”) (NASDAQ: CSIQ) subsidiaries Recurrent Energy and CSI Energy Storage, today announced that Crimson Storage, a 350 MW / 1400 MWh standalone energy storage project, is now in operation and providing flexible capacity to the California grid. A fund managed by Axium Infrastructure US Inc. owns 80% of the project and Recurrent Energy, the project developer, retains 20% ownership. CSI Energy Storage was the turnkey system integrator of the project, delivering the engineering, procurement and construction (“EPC”) services and will provide long-term operational services for the project.
Crimson Storage is the largest battery storage project in the world to reach operation in a single phase, and it is the second largest energy storage project currently operating. Sited on public lands in Riverside County, California, the project holds two long-term energy storage contracts with California’s largest utilities, Southern California Edison (“SCE”) and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (“PG&E”). Both contracts are part of reliability procurements directed by the California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”).
- Southern California Edison: 200 MW / 800 MWh 14 year and 10-month contract with Southern California Edison under a full tolling agreement, and
- Pacific Gas and Electric Company: 150 MW / 600 MWh 15-year contract with Pacific Gas and Electric Company for Resource Adequacy only; Recurrent Energy and Axium will operate the battery system in the California wholesale power market
Recurrent Energy is a leading developer in the energy storage market. The company has commercialized 2.9 GWh of energy storage projects that are in construction or operation, including Slate Solar + Storage, and has an additional pipeline of 15 GWh of energy storage projects under early to mid-stage development.
Canadian Solar’s majority-owned subsidiary, CSI Energy Storage (part of CSI Solar), provided the turnkey solutions for Crimson Storage and is now providing the long-term operational services for the project.
California Governor Gavin Newsom said, “The Crimson Energy Storage project epitomizes California leadership – clean energy, innovation, and economic development through good, union jobs. We’ve been laser focused on quickly bringing projects like this online to achieve our goal of a 100% clean energy grid. Congratulations to the people across the public and private sectors who are responsible for bringing this major project online to the benefit of all Californians.”
Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D., said, “In California’s 36th District, we are national trailblazers in renewable energy development. With Recurrent Energy’s Crimson Storage project here in Blythe, we will cement our leadership and create even more good-paying clean energy jobs. This project builds on the progress we’re making locally to build our clean energy future, and I will continue working to strengthen our local economy, ensure good-paying union jobs, and achieve our nation’s energy independence to help our communities thrive.”
Crimson Storage will enable California customers to obtain more carbon-free energy and will ensure grid reliability during times of peak demand. On average, Crimson Storage will store and dispatch enough electricity to power more than 47,000 homes each year and will displace as much as 275,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions and 47 tons of nitrogen oxides emissions annually, compared to generation by natural gas fired turbines. The carbon dioxide emissions reductions as a result of the projects are the equivalent of taking more than 53,000 cars off the road.
California Energy Commission Chair David Hochschild said, “Energy storage is an essential building block that supports our transition away from fossil fuels and the Crimson project represents a major milestone in the development of this essential clean energy resource.”
JC Sandberg, Interim CEO, American Clean Power, added, “Californians recognize how important it is to accelerate deployment of clean energy—and build new storage facilities that allow communities to bring these resources online when they’re most needed. California’s clean energy industry is demonstrating its ability every day to achieve these goals at scale, and there’s no doubt the state’s electric system will be stronger, cleaner, and more reliable as a result of this project.”
Crimson Storage is sited in the California desert on public lands about 13 miles west of Blythe, in Riverside County, California. In May 2021, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) granted final approval of the project, making it the first standalone energy storage project to receive approval to site on BLM lands under the Biden-Harris Administration.
BLM California State Director Karen E. Mouritsen, said, “Crimson Storage is the first standalone energy storage project to be approved on BLM lands under the Biden-Harris Administration. The project represents another major step forward in the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035. We look forward to supporting additional projects like Crimson Storage that ensure responsible energy development on BLM lands.”
During construction, Crimson Storage employed approximately 140 union workers, including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, International Union of Operating Engineers, Laborer’s International Union of North America, and the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Union. The project is expected to add $30 million in property tax revenue to the local community throughout its operation.
Thierry Vandal, President of Axium, said, “Axium is thrilled for the Crimson project to begin operations and support California’s continuing renewable energy transition. The project is the second largest operating battery storage facility in the world and is providing reliability and flexible generation to the California electric grid. Projects such as Crimson are critical in facilitating the energy transition and we are pleased to have partnered with Recurrent and Canadian Solar on this landmark project.”
Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar, said, “Crimson Storage is now the largest single phase energy storage project to reach commercial operation in the world and the second largest operating standalone energy storage projects in the world. Recurrent Energy began developing Crimson Storage and our larger energy storage pipeline in 2015 when no large-scale storage projects yet existed. Last year, we started bringing these projects to fruition also thanks to our CSI Energy Storage team. Today we celebrate how far we have come in delivering the much-needed flexible generation that will support the U.S. and California’s transformative climate goals. We thank the California Public Utilities Commission, the U.S. Department of the Interior and our partners at Axium Infrastructure for their critical contributions to this project.”