Work has begun on a 195.5MW solar farm in Georgia, US, co-located with 40MW/80MWh of battery storage for RWE Renewables, subsidiary of Germany-headquartered multinational energy company RWE Group.
RWE Renewables and utility company Georgia Power signed a 30-year power purchase agreement (PPA) deal for the utility to off-take energy generated by the plant in November 2019, when the project was called Broken Spoke Solar but appears to have since been renamed Hickory Park.
RWE will operate and manage the solar facility, selling energy and renewable attributes i.e. renewable energy certificates (RECs) to the investor-owned utility, which serves around 2.6 million customers in the US state. The Hickory Park/Broken Spoke Solar project is expected to come online in late 2021.
The facility will occupy a space of around 1,800 acres in Mitchell County, Georgia. The solar PV generation will be integrated with a DC-coupled energy storage system, which RWE said will allow energy yield to be optimised while also increasing the predictability of the output it will inject into Georgia Power’s electricity grid. DC-coupling is still a niche, but growing technical solution for pairing solar and energy storage that helps increase efficiencies and reduce overall costs.
RWE Renewables said it has a number of energy storage projects under development in the US, both standalone and co-located with generation sources like solar and wind. The company recently claimed that its solar and wind portfolio will reach 10GW by the end of this year, while it also wants to “play a major role in energy storage”, RWE Renewables said in a press release. Parent company RWE Group is also targeting carbon neutrality by 2040.
“The Hickory Park Solar plant will mark our first solar facility in Georgia and our largest solar-plus-storage project in the US to date,” RWE Renewables’ chief operating officer for onshore wind and solar PV in the Americas, Silvia Ortin, said.