SoCal Edison battery storage projects totaling 2.1 GWh likely to be delayed

FlexGen’s battery storage system at Fort Wayne, Indiana (Courty: FlexGen).

According to the contractor, three battery storage projects being constructed for Southern California Edison will be delayed due to supply chain restrictions and COVID-19 lockdowns China.

SoCal Edison selected Ameresco last October to execute an engineering, procurement and construction contract for three battery storage projects totaling 537.5MW/2.15GWh. The bank provided $262 million financing to the company. The projects were scheduled for commercial operation in August.

Ameresco stated on April 10th that it had told SoCal Edison its battery supplier, FlexGen that COVID-19 lockdowns, and new-implemented transport safety policies in China could cause delays in delivery.

Ameresco stated in a press release that these impacts are “force majeure events” under their contract with SoCal Edison. The contract’s “Acts of God” clause would allow for the extension of the project’s completion date without triggering liquated damage.

While Ameresco awaits the arrival of the batteries, construction will continue at the three project sites. All necessary switchgear and ancillary equipment, including high and medium voltage transformers, auxiliary Transformers, inverters, inverters, and inverters, have been secured for the project.

According to local news reports the largest outbreak of Covid-19 in China in two years has led to widespread lockdowns. Containers are piling up at China’s largest port due to an extended lockdown that has affected Shanghai’s 25million inhabitants. Due to the ongoing disruptions in supply chains, some European companies have asked Chinese officials for an increase in their “zero Covid” policies.

Ameresco claimed that California’s governor drove the SoCalEdison projects’ rapid completion when they were first announced last year. Gavin Newsom’s emergency proclamation was issued to accelerate clean energy projects.

Newsom stated that clean energy, energy storage and demand response programs are necessary for the state’s ability to respond to climate-driven extreme weather events, which are more often affecting the electric grid.

Ameresco stated it will continue monitoring developments in China, and will work with suppliers so that there are no delays. The company will collaborate with the Port of Long Beach to speed up container and ship handling.

Renewable Energy WorldAmeresco and FlexGen have been contacted by the company for comment on potential project delays. They are currently awaiting their response.