February 28, 2018 Read More →

Research: Wave of Hybrid Battery-Storage Power Plants Is Coming to the U.S.

S&P Global Market Intelligence:

Driven by the U.S. power sector’s heightened focus on grid flexibility and the need to manage vast new volumes of variable renewable energy resources, a more dynamic class of power plant is emerging: wind, solar and fossil fuel facilities hybridized with battery storage.

Roughly 80 such power plants are operating and planned to come online across the United States in the next few years, totaling 11,628 MW, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data. That includes 4,433 MW of generating capacity at 50 existing power plants backed by 367 MW of battery storage capacity, most of which came online in the past two years. In addition, project developers have proposed adding another 820 MW of batteries at 31 planned and operating power plants with 6,008 MW of generating capacity.

These recent and near-term hybrids are the vanguard of a trend that appears to be quickly gathering momentum. Current transmission interconnection queues in several states and recent bids in response to utility requests for proposals hint at a much larger pipeline taking shape. Moreover, the data does not include behind-the-meter storage tied to rooftop photovoltaic systems and other small-scale plants, which increasingly may be aggregated to offer wholesale power market services in the wake of a recent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission order.

Overall, the batteries in the pipeline are supersized compared with those installed to date. Touted as the “largest battery storage facility in the world,” AES Corp.’s gas-fired Alamitos Energy Center in Long Beach, Calif., includes plans for a 300-MW battery storage system. Canadian Solar Inc.’s RE Gaskell West project, a five-phase solar farm in Kern County, Calif., includes 125 MW of battery storage. Eversource Energy and Ørsted A/S have proposed 55 MW of batteries for their Bay State Offshore Wind project off the coast of Massachusetts. Pinnacle West Capital Corp. subsidiary Arizona Public Service Co. has tapped First Solar Inc. to supply power from a new 65 MW solar array with a 50-MW battery system.

More ($): The hybrids are coming: 11 GW of battery-backed power plants planned and online

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