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Enel Green Power Plans to Install 1.4GW of Energy Storage in the US over Next Three Years

published: 2022-02-10 9:30

Enel Green Power (EGP), a subsidiary of Italian energy multinational Enel Group, began operating two new renewable energy projects in North America in December last year. They are the Lily Solar-Plus-Storage Project in Texas and the Rockhaven Wind Project in Oklahoma. The former is EGP’s first renewable-plus-storage hybrid project in North America. This event was first announced by EGP and then reported by other media platforms that cover renewable energy news.

EGP has also released a rapid growth strategy, under which the company will be investing US$8 billion over a three-year period to add 6.5GW of renewable generation capacity and 1.4GW of energy storage capacity in the US. By the end of the period, EGP’s portfolio of renewable generation assets is expected to reach above 14GW. Currently, the company is the fifth-largest operator of PV and wind projects in North America.

Situated southeast of Dallas (i.e., Kaufman County), the Lily Solar-Plus-Storage Project has a generation capacity 181MW and a storage capacity of 55MW. The latter is part of EGP’s plan to install 600MW of new energy storage capacity in Texas by 2022. The PV generation capacity comprises 421,400 bifacial modules that collectively can produce more than 367GWh annually. The co-located battery energy storage system is used to dispatch electricity when PV generation is low. It also provides additional clean electricity to the ERCOT grid during periods of peak demand. The whole Lily Solar-Plus-Storage Project is expected to offset 242,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year. The development of the project was initiated by Red River Renewable Energy, a joint venture among entities that include Sun Chase Power and MAP Energy.

As for the Rockhaven Wind Project, it deploys 49 wind turbines that offer a generation capacity of 140MW. It can produce around 616GWh annually and offset around 359,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually. A portion of its generation capacity is sold to Wellington Management under a first-of-its kind virtual PPA. The company’s offices as well as some residences of the company’s employees will be powered by the Rockhaven Wind Project.

Paolo Romanacci, head of EGP in the US and Canada, said that the activation of the Lily Solar-Plus-Storage Project heralds a new era for the company as it begins building grid-scale battery energy storage facilities across the US. Romanacci added that the integration of renewable generation with energy storage will enable a more flexible and cleaner grid system. Romanacci also stated that EGP is actively responding to the demand from policymakers and business leaders for a faster energy transition process in North America. Hence, EGP will be ramping up investments in order to achieve its accelerated growth targets.

Antonio Cammisecra, CEO of EGP, said that the Lily Solar-Plus-Storage Project demonstrates not only the enormous growth potential of renewable energy but also the possibilities offered by “flexible” power plants that “provide zero-carbon electricity while boosting grid stability”.

EGP is currently developing five other renewable-plus-storage hybrid projects in Texas: Azure Sky Solar-Plus-Storage, Azure Sky Wind-Plus-Storage, Roseland Solar-Plus-Storage, Blue Jay Solar Plus-Storage, and Ranchland Wind-Plus-Storage. Furthermore, EGP will be adding battery energy storage systems to two existing renewable energy projects in Texas: the 500MW High Lonesome Wind Project and the 497MW Roadrunner Solar Project. Both projects will be integrated with a 57MW battery energy storage system. Regarding wind projects, EGP is now building two new wind farms, one in Oklahoma and the other in Illinois.

According to an article posted by news outlet Power Technology last May, Enel also plans to invest US$19.52 billion into the development of power distribution infrastructure in the US over a two-year period. Even though the current Texan government appears to be rather passive in supporting renewable energy, there is a huge potential market there for solar-plus-storage projects. The threat of power outages and extreme weather events can actually play to project developers’ advantage because with batteries, PV generation can offer resilience and independence with respect to energy production and consumption.

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