Solar and storage EPC and O&M provider Borrego has completed the construction of 15 solar-plus-storage projects across New York and Massachusetts totalling 169MWh, for AES Corporation.
The projects across the two Northeast states total 96MW of solar PV power while the storage portion is 50MW/169MWh, an average duration of 3.4 hours. The storage units range in size from 1.7MWh to 17MWh. Global energy company AES Corporation is the asset owner.
Borrego said in a press release yesterday (June 16) that these are among its first DC-coupled solar-plus-storage installations and also its largest storage portfolio built for a single customer to-date. The DC-coupling technology enables the solar PV to generate up to 30% additional annual energy output for the same interconnection cost as they would have without storage.
Most of the projects are community solar sites, meaning utility-scale but with ownership divided amongst local individuals and businesses. In Massachusetts, this allows them to participate in the state’s SMART programme, which guarantees community solar holders payment over 20 years. The programme has been a major driver of co-located projects in the state.
The New York sites will discharge power into the NY Value of Distributed Energy Resource (VDER) programme. Also called the Value Stack, this rewards projects that can deliver energy to the grid when most needed by paying them an hourly aggregate rate.
“Being an early adopter of energy storage and solar-plus-storage technologies has not been without its challenges, but the completion of the AES portfolio has made it all worthwhile,” said John duPont, vice president of solutions at Borrego. “We collaborated with our product partners for years to develop and test the DC-coupled system hardware and energy management system controls that will enable these plants to deliver more solar generation per facility than was previously possible in this market.”
Energy-Storage.news wrote about some of the challenges of co-located projects sharing a grid connection in the UK market recently, which are likely to be relevant in the US too. These included questions over SPV structuring, grid access application timing and off-take agreements.
Borrego recently sold its development arm and pipeline to investment firm ECP to focus on growing its EPC and O&M businesses. Energy-Storage.news‘ sister site PV Tech interviewed Borrego CEO Mike Hall about the decision, which you can read here.
The firm has partnered with AES Corporation on other projects too, including an EPC contract for three solar PV farms in Michigan, which will come online in the middle of this year. It may also be delivering additional solar-plus-storage projects for AES to the ones announced yesterday, with some listed on its website, which exceed the 17MWh upper end outlined earlier (Pleasant St – Dunstable, MA, for example).