NextEra and Entergy to develop 4.5GW of solar and storage capacity

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NextEra Energy added 1.2GW of new solar capacity in 2023. Image: NextEra Energy.

US power companies NextEra Energy and Entergy have announced plans to develop 4.5GW of solar and storage projects as part of a five-year joint development agreement.

While the companies did not specify where the projects will be built, and when they expect to commission the projects, both boast significant renewable power portfolios in the US. Entergy, for instance, has a portfolio of 14 operating solar projects in the US, with a combined capacity of 585MW, alongside two solar-plus-storage projects in operation with a capacity of 101MW.

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“We’re excited about this joint development agreement, which will enable Entergy to provide our customers with low-cost, renewable energy as demand grows across Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas,” said Rod West, group president of utility operations for Entergy.

All four states rank in the top half of US states in the forecasts made by the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) for capacity additions over the next five years. This group is led by Texas, which the SEIA expects to add 50.5GW of capacity, while Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi are set to add 4.7GW, 3.9GW and 2.5GW, respectively.

The two companies already have 1.7GW of renewable energy projects under development, and Entergy alone expects to add 2.9GW of new solar capacity by 2028. The company has also invested in co-located projects, with four solar-plus-wind projects in its pipeline, with a combined capacity of 4.9GW, which Entergy expects to commission by 2029.

NextEra, meanwhile, already has battery energy storage systems (BESS) in operation and development in 19 US states, including Arkansas and Texas, and reported strong growth in its solar portfolio in its 2023 financial reporting. The company added 1.2GW of new solar capacity in 2023, and posted net income of US$112 million in the fourth quarter of the year, and the new deal with Entergy will continue this expansion.

“We believe the power sector is at an inflection point, and growing electricity demand will be met by low-cost, renewable generation and storage,” said Rebecca Kujawa, president and chief executive officer of NextEra Energy.

Both solar and storage projects in the US have received legislative support in recent years, with the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) proposing new regulations for tax credit eligibility for solar and storage projects.

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