Hybrid wind-solar-battery clean energy project in Oregon brought online by NextEra Energy Resources


NextEra Energy Resources has brought into operation a renewable energy project combining wind, solar PV and battery storage in Oregon, thought to be the first US hybrid project of its kind.

An inauguration event was held yesterday for the hybrid power plant, which is near the city of Lexington, in Oregon’s Morrow County. The celebration was attended by state and local community leaders, together with representatives from NextEra and its partner in the project, utility Portland General Electric (PGE).

Called Wheatridge Renewable Energy Facilities, it comprises 300MW of wind power, 50MW of solar PV generation and a 30MW battery energy storage system (BESS) with four-hour duration (120MWh).

The battery storage and pairing of two different renewable energy technologies allows the system to dispatch energy for more hours of the day – and night, supporting PGE’s climate goals of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 80% by the end of this decade and achieving net zero emissions across operations by 2040 as well as serving customers with zero emissions energy.

NextEra owns 100MW of the wind generation, while one of its subsidiaries owns the rest of the hybrid plant’s assets. Meanwhile PGE will buy power from the solar array and battery system over 20-year and 30-year power purchase agreements (PPAs).

A new transmission line has been constructed to connect the project to the local high voltage grid operated by Bonneville Power Administration.

As well as being the first in the US to date, it’s a rare example of a triple resource hybrid renewables project globally. Energy-Storage.news has reported on just a handful of such projects. Recent examples include a project in Australia currently under construction, and another announced in Wales, UK, with progress updates on both projects given by their respective developers in July.

In March, Swedish state-owned utility Vattenfall completed work on Energypark Haringvliet in the Netherlands, which combines 22MW of wind, 38MW of solar and a 12MWh battery energy storage system (BESS).

“I firmly believe we can move to 100% clean electricity sources and create good-paying jobs in rural Oregon at the same time. The urgency of getting clean energy projects online could not be clearer. Extreme heat, wildfires, drought, and winter storms – we are seeing the impacts of climate change in Oregon, with some of the biggest impacts in rural Oregon,” state governor Kate Brown said of the Wheatridge project.

“Thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration, we now have the opportunity to pursue federal funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act to create clean energy jobs throughout the state.”

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