CIT Group completed a third round of financing for an innovative battery-based energy storage project that helps facilitate greater use of renewable energy in Southern California.

The Green Investment Group of Macquarie Capital, the corporate advisory, capital markets and principal investing arm of Macquarie Group, implemented the battery-storage projects in collaboration with AMS.

The latest round of financing follows two earlier rounds led by CIT’s Power and Energy business, bringing combined CIT-led financings for the project to more than $160 million.

The loans will support behind-the-meter battery storage throughout the West Los Angeles Basin region. All told, the project comprises a total of about 63 megawatts/340 megawatt-hours of battery storage across 89 different sites for 28 different host customers.

Taken together, the battery storage installed under this project constitutes one of the largest “virtual power plants” of its kind in operation. Energy stored in the batteries is dispatched during periods of high demand, avoiding the need to use fossil fuel-generated peaking power.

“One of the biggest challenges facing renewable power is the lack of capacity to store clean energy until it’s needed most,” said Mike Lorusso, managing director and group head of CIT’s Power and Energy unit. “We were pleased to serve as lead arranger on financing that significantly advances the grid-connected battery storage infrastructure in Southern California.

“Businesses in the Southern California area increasingly depend on renewable power for their electricity. Battery projects like these also support the reliability of the grid. CIT’s financing of this landmark project is another example of our ongoing commitment to supporting innovation and sustainable solutions in the energy sector.”

CIT’s Power and Energy unit is among the leading arrangers of secured loans for U.S.-based renewable energy projects. According to data compiled by Infamation, which closely tracks the energy project and infrastructure sector, CIT last year ranked second in the number of U.S. renewable energy projects financed.