National Grid Renewables signs 140MW PPA, breaks ground on Texas solar-plus-storage project using First Solar modules

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National Grid Renewables has signed a module supply agreement with First Solar for 2GW of its thin-film modules. Image: National Grid Renewables.

National Grid Renewables, a division of UK utility National Grid, has signed a 140MW power purchase agreement (PPA) with chocolate makers The Hershey Company in the second such deal between the two companies.

The PPA will see The Hershey Company receive power from National Grid Renewables’ Copperhead Solar & Storage Project, which broke ground yesterday. Copperhead is a 150MW/100MWh solar and storage project in Falls County, Texas.

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It is the second PPA between the two companies, with The Hershey Company contracting a 50MW PPA with National Grid Renewables for its 275MW/125MWh solar-plus-storage Noble Project in April 2021.

Copperhead will deploy First Solar’s Series 6 thin-film solar modules and a 100MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) by Fluence Energy. It is being constructed by engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company TIC, a subsidiary of Kiewit.

In June, National Grid Renewables and First Solar signed a framework agreement that will see the thin-film manufacturer supply National Grid Renewables with 2GW of its thin-film cadmium telluride modules, although these were scheduled to be delivered in 2024 and 2025. First Solar has supplied modules to the developer in the past.

“With Copperhead, our commitment to the state of Texas and the ERCOT market remains strong, and we look forward to bringing this project to commercial operation to benefit local and statewide residents,” said Blake Nixon, president of National Grid Renewables. 

The Hershey Company said the PPA will help to achieve its decarbonisation targets, with the company committing to reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by more than 50% and Scope 3 emissions by 25% by 2030.

“We’re making great progress toward achieving those goals thanks to projects like Copperhead,” said Mark Kline, director of Commodities and Specialty Procurement at The Hershey Company.

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