A solar plant is essentially an individual generating station, designed by a single developer and usually with a single export connection to the grid. It is possible that in some cases, it is configured on several nearby plots of land, with larger solar power plants being built in phases. The largest solar parks of today have over 2GW of energy capacity, slowly revving towards 5 GW.
The following are the five largest solar energy storage projects in the US:
The multisite Alamo project in San Antonio Texas is a 577MW project owned by South Korea’s OCI Solar Power. It developed the sites and brought them online in 2015 and 2016, selling several to Consolidated Edison Development, the development of the renewables, and ownership subsidiary of utility Cond Ed. OCI has essentially attached a 1 MW energy storage system to one of the solar sites which were designed to provide fast response in ERCOT’s market.
Topaz Solar Farm, located in California is a 688MW project. The off-taker is Pacific Gas and Electric, the declaration of the utility’s bankruptcy has raised numerous questions about several major renewable projects including Topaz. The project’s credit rating had fallen due to its reliance on PG&E for revenues, however, the utility pledges to honor its renewables contracts.
3. Desert Sunlight
Desert Sunlight is a 673 MW project located in California’s Mojave Desert that is owned by General Electric, NextEra Energy, and Sumitomo. The project’s owners had initially sued the Treasury Department over claims that the government wasn’t making good on its payments to renewable energy projects owed to Desert Sunlight under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The suit was however dismissed in March 2016, by the U.S District Court in the District of Columbia.
4. Misae 2
Misae 2 is a 692 MW project located in Texas which has become a boomtown for utility-scale solar projects and is expected to be operational in 2021. The project was developed by LAE American Energy and co-developed with the owner and Texas-based medical doctor Miguel Oneto. It is the second phase of Misae Solar Parks’ two projects adding up to over 1 GW. The first Misae project was sold to investment firm Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.
Gemini is an approximately 896MW solar project, one of the few that includes significant battery capacity, a trend that is growing among larger US solar plants. Co-developer Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners claimed that the addition of storage would undercut carbon emissions when compared to traditional generation sources by over 1.5 million tons each year.
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