Florida utility pens solar-plus-storage PPA on its way to renewables goal

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One of Origis Energy's predecessor projects - FL Solar 5 - in operation in Florida. Image: Origis Energy.

Floridian utility Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) has penned a power purchase agreement with developer Origis Energy for a solar-plus-storage project in the state.

The Solar 6 large-scale solar project is claimed to be the first of its kind in GRU’s service area and will combine 50MW of solar PV with 12MW of energy storage.

It will be constructed by Origis Energy in Alachua County and is slated for completion in late 2022.

Ed Bielarski, general manager at GRU, said the project was the “next step forward” toward meeting a target of deriving 100% of its power from renewable sources by 2045, claiming the agreement to be an “all-around win for our customers, our city and the environment”.

The City of Gainesville approved a target of 100% power from renewables in 2018, with GRU developing its renewables portfolio as it progresses towards that goal. To date, its resources include the 103MW biomass-fired Deerhaven Renewable Generation Station, 3.6MW of landfill-gas fired units and 18.5MW of feed-in tariff accredited solar.

Additionally, it has approximately 9MW of customer-owned and net-metered solar currently connected to its distribution system.

“Solar plus storage on this scale will help Gainesville achieve its 100 percent renewable energy goal,” said Johan Vanhee, chief commercial officer and chief procurement officer at Origis Energy.  “We are honored to bring cost effective power to GRU customers and applaud City leaders as they continue to model clean energy leadership in the Sunshine state.”

Origis Energy is also developing a 57.5MW solar farm in Mitchell County, Georgia, together with state utility Georgia Power.

In early 2019, the renewable energy developer completed a 50MW, 109-hectare PV project together with Reedy Creek Improvement District in Florida, to provide clean energy to the Walt Disney World Resort.

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