Solar storage poised for multi-gigawatt growth in 2022, 2023

More than 40 utility-scale solar-storage projects entered operations in the first three quarters of 2021, including batteries tied to existing and new solar farms that combined for nearly 1 GW of storage capacity, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.

Wells Fargo announced its first tax equity investment into such combined assets in November, backing D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments LLC’s Arroyo Solar and Storage Project in McKinley County, N.M. Currently under construction, the facility features the 150-MW/600-MWh Arroyo Battery Storage Project and the 300-MW Arroyo Solar Project.

The battery-equipped solar station is scheduled to come online in 2022, supported by a 20-year power purchase agreement with Public Service Co. of New Mexico, a subsidiary of PNM Resources Inc. “There are many other projects in the market, and we are pursuing other opportunities for solar plus storage,” Hopkins said.

“Most solar project developers are integrating storage with projects that we’re currently discussing.”

In Manatee County, Fla., Florida Power & Light Co. on Dec. 13 celebrated the completion of the 409-MW/900-MWh Manatee Energy Storage Center, touted as the “World’s largest solar-powered battery.” The $300 million utility-owned energy storage facility, with the equivalent of 100 million iPhone batteries, can charge entirely from excess generation at the roughly 75-MW FPL Manatee Solar Energy Center over a period of several days, a spokesman for the NextEra affiliate said in an email.

Across the country, in eastern Riverside County, Calif., NextEra Energy Resources LLC in 2021 added 523 MW/2,092 MWh of battery storage at several projects of the contiguous Blythe and McCoy solar complex.

In Nevada, Consolidated Edison Inc. in 2021 completed its 250-MW Copper Mountain Solar V, which includes 87.5 MW of battery storage, for Berkshire Hathaway Energy subsidiary NV Energy Inc. Also under contract with NV Energy is Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners Pty Ltd.’s massive Gemini Solar + Battery Storage Project in Clark County, Nev. Currently under construction, the facility features 690 MW of solar and a 380-MW storage system with approximately four hours of energy storage capacity.