EDF Renewables brings online 620MWdc multi-stage PV project with 200MWh BESS in California

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EDF Renewables North America has fully commissioned Palen Solar, a multi-stage solar PV project on public lands in California administered by the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

The clean energy independent power producer (IPP) subsidiary of French energy multinational EDF said yesterday that the project’s 457MWac/620MWdc of ground mounted PV with horizontal single axis trackers and its 50MW/200MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) are now all fully up and running.

This follows an update from the Department of the Interior – of which BLM is an office – earlier this month reported by our sister site PV Tech to that effect, with EDF’s release yesterday adding a few project details.

Palen Solar includes four separate phases, the first of which went online in December 2020. The battery storage system was the final piece to be commissioned. They are as follows:

Maverick 1: 173MWdc/125 MWac

Maverick 4: 137MWdc/100 MWac

Maverick 6: 131MWdc/100 MWac with 50MW/200MWh battery storage

Maverick 7: 179MWdc/132 MWac

The power plants are all in California’s Riverside County, and received approval from the BLM in 2018, on unincorporated land designated suitable for renewable energy development.

EDF signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with fellow energy major Shell for a 100MW tranche of the project, also in 2018.

“The renewable energy industry has experienced significant volatility over the past years battling both unprecedented pandemic and supply chain constraints. We are excited to now have all four projects operating at full capacity and to contribute to California’s climate goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030,” EDF Renewables North America’s senior VP for implementation and project management Benoit Rigal said.

Operations and maintenance (O&M) of the plant will be carried out by EDF’s own asset optimisation group, including maximising power production through NERC compliance support, remote monitoring, and balance-of-plant management.   

Yesterday, Energy-Storage.news reported that another battery project on BLM-managed land in Riverside County has gone online. A 230MW BESS adjacent to an existing solar power plant has achieved the start of commercial operations, the Department of the Interior said. The project, Desert Sunlight, was developed by NextEra Resources, which also owns the solar farm of the same name next door.

It is part of a concerted effort for BLM to open up otherwise unused lands or brownfield sites to clean energy developments. PV Tech has reported on several other such development projects that have been granted approval, including a 250MW solar-plus-storage project in Arizona by Revolve Renewable Power and Oberon Solar, a 500MW solar project with 500MW of battery storage from developer Intersect Power, also in Riverside County.  

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