Written by: Leonard Parker | Solar News | 11th May
Southern Power has awarded Mitsubishi Power Americas and Powin an order for two utility-scale battery energy storage system (BESS) projects totaling 640 MWh. These projects will enhance California’s grid reliability with additional flexible resource capacity for integrating intermittent renewable energy into the grid. These two energy storage projects align with Southern Power’s growth strategy of developing and acquiring projects covered by long-term contracts with strong credit counterparties.
The BESS projects are among the first collocated solar and storage projects in California and represent some of the largest retrofits of solar and storage in North America to date. They are designed for a 20-year life cycle and four hours of energy storage duration. Southern Power’s 205 MW Garland Solar Facility in Kern County will add 88 MW and 352 MWh of energy storage, and its 204 MW Tranquillity Solar Facility in Fresno County will add 72 MW and 288 MWh. Both projects are scheduled to come online in 2021.
The energy storage projects will be owned in partnership with AIP Management and Global Atlantic Financial Group, both of which already have ownership interests in the Garland and Tranquillity solar facilities that went into commercial operation in 2016. Southern Power operates the solar projects and will be responsible for operating the energy storage projects upon completion.
Geoff Brown, CEO of Powin, said, “We are pleased to continue our relationship with Mitsubishi Power and to have been selected as a trusted partner by Southern Power to provide BESS over the long-term for the Garland and Tranquillity projects. This award highlights the fact that large-scale solar PV paired with energy storage is cost competitive. We applaud Southern Power for taking this step toward helping California meet its clean energy goals with energy storage.”
Tom Cornell, Senior Vice President of Mitsubishi Power’s NEXT said, “Mitsubishi Power is excited to leverage our network of capabilities in the Americas and globally to bring low carbon solutions to Southern Power. These battery energy storage projects, which will use lithium iron phosphate technology, fit within our vision to provide short- and long-term energy storage solutions that include lithium ion, hydrogen, and other emerging storage technologies. We are proud to provide Southern Power with an energy storage solution to enhance the reliability of California’s electric power grid. Together with our customers and partners, we are creating a Change in Power.”