Ørsted completes first utility-scale solar-plus-storage system in US

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Orsted’s first utility-scale solar storage hybrid project in the US has come online. Image: Orsted

Danish utility giant Ørsted has completed its first utility-scale solar-plus-storage facility in the US.

The Permian Energy Centre, which is based in Andrews County, Texas, consists of a 420 MWac solar PV system and 40 MWac of battery energy storage. It is hoped the installation will provide enough power to supply 80,000 homes in the area.

COO of Ørsted’s Onshore business Neil O’Donovan, said the project marks a “significant milestone” for the company, adding that it is now the first developer to “operate the full spectrum of new renewable energy technologies at utility scale in the US.”

It is not the only project Ørsted is working on in Andrews County. The company secured a power purchase agreement (PPA) with pharmaceutical group MSD for a 200MW solar park in the area last month.

The Danish developer broke ground on the solar storage hybrid project in late 2019, and welcomed Mads Nipper as its new chief executive at the start of this year.

Ørsted’s Permian Energy Centre has been developed with around 1.3 million PV modules from major Chinese PV manufacturers Jinko Solar and JA Solar, employing roughly 300 workers during the construction phase.

Competition is heating up between developers in the utility-scale solar and storage space. In California, the Department of the Interior recently granted approval to Sonaran Solar’s West Solar Holdings’ Crimson project, a 350MW solar PV array with a 350MW/1,400MWh energy storage system to be built on federal land.

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