Virgin Islands, U.S.

Virgin Islands, U.S.

First US wind-solar-storage site unveiled

US developer NextEra and utility Portland General Electric will build a 380MW wind-solar-storage hybrid project in eastern Oregon, north-west US.

The 380MW Wheatridge Renewable Energy facility will be the first to combine wind, solar and storage on this scale (pics: Portland General Electric)
The 380MW Wheatridge Renewable Energy facility will be the first to combine wind, solar and storage on this scale (pics: Portland General Electric)

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The Wheatridge Renewable Energy project will comprise 300MW of wind capacity, 50MW of solar generation and a 30MW battery.

PGE claimed the site is the first "of this scale" in North America, with the addition of being the largest solar project and storage facility in the state.

PGE will own 100MW of the wind project, with NextEra holding the remaining capacity.

NextEra will then sell the output of its share of the project to PGE under a 30-year power purchase agreement.

A total of 120 GE 2.5MW turbines will be installed at the site in Morrow County, 280km east of Portland.

The wind power section is expected to be online by the end of 2020, with the solar and storage components completed in 2021.

Maria Pope, PGE CEO, said: "Wheatridge will be a model for integrating renewable generation and storage to cost-effectively reduce emissions while maintaining a reliable grid."

GE was also awarded the turbine supply deal for what is believed to be one of the first wind-solar hybrid sites under construction in Minnesota by Juhl Energy.

In a column for Windpower Monthly, Marion Hill, business line director of renewables advisory in North America at DNV GL, said there was a growing appetite for hybrid sites, and the economics speak for themselves.

"For wind and solar projects, incorporating storage will become the norm in the next five years," Hill wrote.

"In its 2017 all-source solicitation, Xcel Energy received 430 proposals, of which 358 were for wind and/or solar.

"Of those 358, about 30% — 110 projects — were hybrid sites combining wind, solar and storage in different scenarios.

"The bids included 11 wind-plus-storage projects, at a median price of $21/MWh, and seven wind-plus-solar-plus-storage sites, with a median price of $30.60/MWh," added Hill. 

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