Spread across roughly 2,500 acres of sundrenched land in Kings County, Calif., the Slate Solar Project combines a 300-MW photovoltaic system with 140.3 MW of lithium-ion batteries designed to discharge for up to four hours.
Owned by Goldman Sachs Renewable Power LLC, an affiliate of the financial giant, the recently energized hybrid asset supplies five California clients with enough electricity for about 126,000 homes. It is the largest of more than a dozen new battery-backed solar projects added to the U.S. power grid in the first quarter, the initial wave of more than 100 such hybrid facilities planned to come online this year, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.
Including projects sited with solar, wind and natural gas generation, developers plan to bring online 5,260 MW of battery power capacity at new and existing power plants in 2022, nearly twice as much as in 2021, the data shows. If developer plans prevail against considerable battery supply chain shortages that delayed significant capacity additions in 2021, an additional 9,662 MW of hybrid storage could come online in 2023.
Other major solar-plus-storage projects completed so far this year include NextEra Energy Inc.'s Dodge Flat Solar Energy Center and Fish Springs Ranch Solar Farm, both in Washoe County, Nev., part of a growing portfolio of solar-battery hybrids under contract with NV Energy Inc. in Nevada. NextEra, through competitive generation arm NextEra Energy Resources LLC, completed its Wheatridge Solar & Battery Storage Facility in Oregon in March.
[Garrett Hering and Susan Dlin]