Canadian module manufacturer Canadian Solar said its wholly-owned subsidiary Recurrent Energy sold an 80% stake in its 350 MW/ 1400 MWh Crimson storage project to Axium Infrastructure. The company will retain the remaining 20% stake in the project.

The construction project is expected to start in the third quarter of 2021, and commercial operation will begin by the summer of 2022. This is Canadian Solar’s first stand-alone storage project, and it has two energy storage contracts with local utilities.

The project’s first phase with 200 MW/800 MWh storage capacity has a 14 year and 10-month contract with South California Edison under a full tolling agreement. The second phase with 150 MW/600 MWh storage capacity has a 15-year contract with Pacific Gas and Electric for resource adequacy.

Canadian Solar’s majority-owned CSI Solar subsidiary will provide engineering, procurement, construction (EPC), and long-term operation service for the storage project.

The California Public Utilities Commission directed that both contracts are part of reliability procurements. The project, located in Riverside County, would support Califonia’s decarbonization and reliability goals with non-emitting clean resource adequacy capacity.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management issued final approval as the storage project is located on public land in the California desert.

Thierry Vandal, president of Axium Infrastructure, said, “the Crimson partnership with Canadian Solar and Recurrent marks Axium’s first investment in battery storage. This project will support the integration of additional sustainable energy projects to help achieve California’s ambitious energy and climate change goals.”

Chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Canadian Solar, Shawn Qu,  said, “Through the Crimson storage project, we are collaborating with our partners Axium to help improve California’s grid reliability and safety by providing resource adequacy capacity to meet electricity demand in all scenarios.”

According to Mercom’s 1H and Q2 2021 Solar Funding and M&A Report, Canadian Solar closed construction debt of JPY 24.5 billion (~$230 million) from Nomura Capital Investment to construct a 100 MW Azuma Kofuji solar project located in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.