One of Largest Solar-Plus-Storage Projects Part of California, Hawaii Energy Effort

Energy Storage

(Credit: Pixabay)

by | Jul 11, 2022

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Energy Storage

(Credit: Pixabay)

Energy storage systems with a large amount of capacity are being developed to cover five sites in California and Hawaii, including one of the largest solar-plus-storage projects in the world.

The energy storage systems, which have a total capacity of 500 megawatts (MW) and 2-gigawatt hours (GWh), are being supplied by Wärtsilä to clean energy company Clearway Energy Group. The largest of the projects is located in San Bernardina, California, where 482 MW of solar and 275 MW and 1.1 GWh of energy storage are being installed.

That is the combination of two projects, called Daggett 2 and Daggett 3, and when combined will be one of the largest solar-plus-storage facilities, according to Wärtsilä. Both projects, which are being built on a retired coal and natural gas plant site, were planned in late 2021 with construction underway with completion set for 2023.

Two other projects are being built in Oahu, Hawaii, at Clearway Energy’s Mililani I and Waiawa Solar Power facilities. They will contain 75 MW and 300 megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy storage and are expected to be completed by 2022.

Both California and Hawaii have goals to ramp up their use of renewable energy, with both aiming to generate 100% renewable energy by 2045. Combining that clean energy with battery storage also takes pressure off the grid and adds power resiliency, which can be especially important in a state like California with high demand and risks of natural impacts such as wildfires.

Hawaii partnered with the Department of Energy in 2008 and estimated that the state that up to 70% of the state’s energy needs could be met by local and renewable methods as opposed to its heavy reliance on imported fossil fuels. It updated that in 2014 to target 100% use by 2045.

California has some of the most ambitious renewable energy goals in the nation. In addition to targets for complete renewable energy, the state has building standards that include using solar installations and has passed legislation to increase community solar, among other initiatives.

The fifth project of the agreement is a 147 MW, 588 MWh energy storage system that will be connected to the Rosamond Central solar facility in Kern County, California. The energy storage system there will perform supplemental services at the plant, primarily solar shifting, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.

Each facility being constructed will use Wärtsilä’s energy storage system and digital energy platform. The Hawaii projects are the company’s first in the state.

A similar solar-plus-battery project by Swell Energy and Enphase Energy is developing virtual power plants in both states as well as New York.

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