NextEra inks 700 MW wind + solar + battery project, largest in the US

Source: By Robert Walton, Utility Dive • Posted: Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Optimizing wind, solar and battery storage resources is no easy feat but it can reduce power prices below the cost of a new gas plant, say WFEC officials.

“With the price of wind and solar energy lower than ever, we are now able to pair it with battery storage to make more affordable, renewable energy available to customers for more hours of the day,” WFEC CEO Gary Roulet said in a statement.

The Skeleton Creek project will come online in two phases, beginning with 250 MW of previously-announced wind energy. That portion of the project is expected to begin operations by the end of this year. The 250 MW Skeleton Creek Solar facility is expected to begin operations by the end of 2023, as is the four-hour battery energy storage project.

The combined wind, solar and energy storage facility is the first of its kind announced in the Southwest Power Pool, where it will be located, according to project developers. They say it is also the “largest co-located wind, solar and energy storage project in the U.S.”

“With this combined facility, we can optimize and maximize the amount of low-cost, emissions-free electricity we provide,” said NextEra Energy Resources President and CEO John Ketchum.

Once the project is completed, WFEC said 50% of its nameplate capacity will come from wind, solar or hydroelectric power.

NextEra announced a similar tri-hybrid project in February, with Portland General. The Wheatridge Renewable Energy Facility will combine 300 MW of wind generation, 50 MW of solar and 30 MW of battery storage. It will come online in stages beginning with wind generation in 2020.