Developer Terra-Gen LLC and construction company M. A. Mortenson Co. Inc. plan to break ground in the first quarter of 2021 on a massive 1,118-MW solar complex with 2,165 MWh of energy storage capacity in Kern County, Calif., the companies announced Dec. 10. It is heralded as the largest such project in the world.
The Edwards & Sanborn facility will “push the industry to new heights,” Brian Gorda, Terra-Gen’s vice president of engineering, said in a statement. Gorda cited Mortenson’s “cutting edge battery experience” and history building large-scale solar farms as critical to completing a project of this scale. The facility will rely on more than 2.5 million solar panels and over 110,000 lithium-ion battery modules, the companies said.
Scheduled for full completion by the end of 2022, the Edwards & Sanborn complex merges projects initially developed separately by Terra-Gen, combining the Sanborn Solar Project and the Edwards Air Force Base Solar Project. Both are located between Edwards Air Force Base and the town of Mojave, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence and Kern County data.
The projects are underpinned by contracts with Edison International utility subsidiary Southern California Edison Co. as well as community choice aggregators Clean Power Alliance and East Bay Community Energy, with some of the output contracted for delivery in August 2021.
Kern County planning documents indicate the projects ultimately could combine 1.1 GW of solar with 4 GWh of storage.
Owned by private equity firm Energy Capital Partners LLC, Terra-Gen is developing several large renewable energy-plus-battery storage projects in the area, including at historic wind farms and solar projects.