More Big Batteries Coming to the West, as EDF Renewables Nabs Deal with NV Energy

EDF Renewables plans to build a 200-megawatt solar plant with a
180 megawatt/720 megawatt-hour battery for Nevada utility NV
Energy, the developer announced Wednesday, adding to the growing
list of large solar-and-storage projects under construction within
the state and region. �

Even at that size, the project will only barely skate onto the
list of the 10 largest batteries in the U.S., based on tracking of
confirmed project details from Wood Mackenzie. This month NV Energy
filed a proposal with state regulators to add 478 megawatts of new
solar and 338 megawatts of new storage by the end of 2023. EDF’s
project, called Chuckwalla Solar+Storage, is the largest among that
portfolio.

Only a year ago EDF’s plans would have ranked among the

largest battery projects in the world
, but announcements in
recent months have continued to top each other. The largest solar
and storage project currently planned in the U.S., Gemini Solar
from Arevia Power and Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners, is also
located in Nevada with NV Energy as offtaker.

Such projects have become increasingly common in the U.S.,
especially in the Southwest and West. Also on Wednesday, regulators
in New Mexico
approved
 650 megawatts of solar and 300 megawatts of storage to
replace electricity the San Juan Generating Station now delivers to
Public Service Company of New Mexico. 

“It’s a sign of the times that an announcement for a
720-megawatt hour project doesn’t raise eyebrows anymore,†said
Dan Finn-Foley, WoodMac’s head of energy storage. “What is
notable … is how solar-plus-storage systems and contract terms
are being structured, and this provides another data point.â€

“Energy storage is a flexible resource and it’s notable that
so much of that flexibility comes not just in its operation but in
planning,” Finn-Foley said. “Storage can be sized for varied
durations to meet needs, but contract terms can include longer or
shorter PPAs or different payment structures to ensure
flexibility.”

EDF and NV Energy signed a 22-year power purchase agreement. EDF
did not immediately respond to questions on the PPA’s price.
 

NV Energy’s race for solar power

It’s not EDF’s first deal with NV Energy. In 2017, EDF
acquired two First Solar projects under contracted with the Nevada
utility. Last year EDF and NV Energy inked another PPA for a
200-megawatt solar and a 75-megawatt/five-hour battery project.
Both that project and Chuckwalla will be located on the Moapa Band
of Paiute Indians Reservation, with the Moapa Tribe receiving land
lease and tax payments from project construction and siting. First
Solar and 8minute Solar Energy have also planned solar projects on
Moapa Tribal lands. 

The announcement from EDF, and the broader solar and storage
proposal from NV Energy, shed more light on how Nevada’s largest
utility plans to meet
new state requirements
for 50 percent renewable electricity by
2030 and 100 percent carbon-free electricity by mid-century. Last
year,
regulators approved
the Berkshire Hathaway-owned utility’s
plans for 1.2 gigawatts of solar and 590 megawatts of new storage.
In its more recent filing with the public utility commission, NV
Energy also requested approval for 600 miles of new transmission
lines to deliver power from the utility’s growing renewables
agreements.

Earlier this month NV Energy
reported to state regulators
that it had exceeded the 2019
requirement that renewables and energy efficiency account for 20
percent of its retail energy sales.

Source: FS – GreenTech Media
More Big Batteries Coming to the West, as EDF Renewables
Nabs Deal with NV Energy