Orsted has taken a final investment decision on a 518MW hybrid wind and solar project in the US state of Texas with an expected operational date in the first half of 2022. The Helena Energy Center consists of the 268MW Helena wind farm and 250MW (AC) Sparta solar PV farm.
Orsted has secured contracts with multiple corporate offtakers including Henkel for a portion of the wind generation and Target for a portion of the solar generation.
The Helena Energy Center, in Bee County, south Texas, will allow Orsted to maximise the use of the “excellent location, in a highly liquid market”, on a primary transmission import path into the San Antonio load centre and in an area characterised by strong coastal winds and sunshine.
The Helena Energy Center project takes Orsted’s onshore operational and under construction portfolio to 4GW, a portfolio that is both geographically and technologically diverse, spanning Texas, the Midwest, and southeast US across wind, solar, and storage.
With the “significant portfolio growth” over the coming years, Orsted’s US energy trading team, up to now part of the company’s markets business unit, has been integrated into Orsted’s onshore business.
Ben Pratt has been appointed to lead the Chicago-based team and joins the onshore management team which continues to be headed by onshore CEO Declan Flanagan. “We’ve quickly become one of the largest constructors of new wind and solar in the US, and having world-class capabilities in all facets of energy markets is central to our ambitious growth plans,” said Flanagan.