Eyeing demand for solar energy after sunset in the Desert Southwest, renewable energy developers have pitched at least seven large battery-backed photovoltaic power plants so far this year to be located in Nevada, combining 4,450 MW of solar with more than 4,000 MW of storage, according to filings with the state’s Public Utilities Commission.
Among those are a trio of 1,000-MW solar projects, each with up to 1,000 MW of lithium-ion or similar battery storage systems with unspecified durations. Those include the Sawtooth Energy Center, proposed by an affiliate of NextEra Energy Inc.’s competitive generation arm NextEra Energy Resources LLC in Nye County, Nev., as well a proposal from ConnectGen LLC, which is supported by private equity firm Quantum Energy Partners, to build the Smoky Valley Solar Project in Esmeralda County, Nev.
Both developers filed notices in late April with state regulators of their intent to request permission from the federal government to build their gigawatt-sized solar-plus-storage projects on land overseen by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. In addition, Pantheon Solar LLC, an affiliate of Arevia Power, filed notice in February of its amended application to construct the Pantheon Solar Project, another planned 1,000-MW solar and storage complex, also on Bureau of Land Management land, in White Pine County, Nev.
The supersized facilities signal a new scale of development for large-scale solar projects with battery storage in Nevada, which has emerged in recent years as a hotbed of solar-plus-storage development activity.