Startup Spearmint Energy has become the latest developer to acquire a large-scale battery storage project in Texas, marking the company’s first purchase.
Spearmint Energy said yesterday that it has bought Revolution, a 150MW project in West Texas from Con Edison Development, the developer arm of Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses, which is of course part of major US energy holding company Consolidated Edison.
Expected to come online in the second quarter of next year, Revolution will participate in Texas’ ERCOT wholesale market and will help to ease grid congestion and enable greater utilisation of renewable energy.
It will be located next to King Mountain Wind Farm, a 279MW facility with three utility offtakers commissioned at the beginning of this century in Upton County.
ERCOT has already been a hot target market for the battery storage industry due to its open merchant market design and Texas’ status as a renewable energy growth area for a few years, but recent events like Winter Storm Uri in February last year, natural gas price spikes and the queue of renewable energy projects vying for limited grid connection capacity have made it even hotter.
In a Guest Blog for Energy-Storage.news earlier this month, Spearmint Energy CEO and founder Andrew Waranch made it clear just why Texas is in urgent need of energy storage.
Waranch noted that the state was “left stranded” as generation assets including coal, gas and wind turbines froze up and weaknesses in the grid were exposed in the Winter of 2021, arguing for the vital role energy storage could play in that situation.
It could also help alleviate overnight wind energy congestion as more power is often generated than can be used at that time. Alongside that, solar PV installations are growing, which is obviously great to see, but also means that if all the solar queued up in the state is built out, there could be a gap between generation and supply of as much as 20GW every evening at sunset, equivalent to 30% of Texas’ total demand.
Investing in energy storage should be a key pillar of overhauling and upgrading the “broken” power grid, not just in Texas, but across the whole US, Waranch concluded. Along with California, the other leading grid-scale battery storage market in the country, Texas could be an exemplar of where the grid is heading over the next 10 years, he wrote.
Spearmint is a newly launched renewable energy and energy storage company, focusing on project development for solar PV and batteries, contracting for energy storage offtake and trading renewable energy on its platform.
Texas grid highlights weaknesses that batteries can help fix
According to figures from trade group American Clean Power Association published a few days ago, the largest battery project to go online in the US in Q2 2022 by output was Vistra Energy’s 260MW/260MWh DeCordova project in Granbury near Dallas. DeCordova is also Texas’ biggest BESS so far.
Meanwhile reported US deployment figures for Q1 this year from analysis group Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables highlighted that the majority of grid-scale BESS deployments in that quarter were concentrated in Texas, along with California and Nevada.
Recent large-scale projects in development, completed or acquired in the state, as reported by Energy-Storage.news, include:
- A 400MW/600MWh portfolio of four development projects acquired by Cypress Creek Renewables
- Aypa Power’s successful US$88 million financing for a 173MWh standalone BESS project
- Developer Jupiter Power’s recently completed 200MWh project – the company’s second of that size in Texas
- Canadian Solar subsidiary Recurrent Energy’s purchase of two projects totalling 400MWh in development by Black Mountain Energy Storage, the same company that Cypress Creek bought its new portfolio from
- A large-scale wind-plus-storage project brought online by Enel Green Power and another currently in construction by RWE
Those are just some of the projects covered by this site since mid-June and a look through the archives reveals dozens more since deployments began picking up speed and scale in the 2019-2020 timeframe.