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Longroad builds Arizona project with First Solar Series 7 modules, Powin’s Centipede BESS

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Longroad Energy has achieved financial close on a large-scale solar PV and battery storage project in Arizona, US, on which construction is already underway.

The developer also announced which companies will be key suppliers and contractors to its project, which is called Serrano. Serrano will feature 220MWdc of solar PV together with a 214MWac/855MWh lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery energy storage system (BESS).

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Spanning portions of Arizona’s Pinal and Pima Counties, Serrano will be equipped with thin-film cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar PV modules manufactured domestically in the US by First Solar.

First Solar’s new Series 7 modules will be used, marking the first Longroad-financed project to use them as well as being the fourth large-scale solar project in Arizona overall in a partnership between the two companies over the past four years.

Solar tracker maker NEXTracker will supply the PV plant’s tracking systems, while solar inverter (and latter battery storage) manufacturer Sungrow will supply the PV inverters.

Meanwhile, the BESS will be provided by US-headquartered system integrator and manufacturer Powin Energy, using Powin’s Centipede modular battery storage platform, which enables the connection of dozens of units to make multiple hundred-megawatt installations.

The BESS will use power conversion system (PCS) equipment made by solar inverter manufacturer SMA, as well as battery cells made by AESC. Powin signed a 2GW supply deal with SMA in 2022.

Powin executive VP Danny Lu spoke to Energy-Storage.news Premium recently at the Energy Storage Summit EU in London, UK. The interview, published this morning, covers topics that include the integrator’s approach to manufacturing, increasing energy density, fire safety, and the 1,680MWh flagship Waratah Super Battery project for developer Akaysha Energy in New South Wales, Australia.  

Energy from the Serrano project will be sold under a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) to utility Arizona Public Service (APS). Debt financing is coming from a number of lenders, led by CIBC and Societe Generale, while Apollo Global Management affiliate Athene Annuity and Life Insurance Company is the tax equity investor.

Arizona has been previously cited as an important growth market for Longroad, which secured US$500 million from investors, including reinsurance company Munich Re, in 2022 to help fund its pivot from developing projects to flip and sell into becoming an owner-operator of its developed assets. It made a further raise of US$600 million towards growing its portfolio of renewables and storage late last year.

The four Arizona projects supplied with First Solar modules include the Sun Streams portfolio, which Longroad acquired from the thin-film manufacturer. The pair also have a multi-year module supply deal in place through which the developer has to date secured around 8GW.

The portfolio includes the 200MWdc standalone PV Sun Streams 2, as well as Sun Streams 3 and Sun Streams 4, the latter both featuring battery storage systems.

Sun Streams 3 is a 285MWdc PV plant hybridised with 215MW/860MWh of BESS, on which financial close was achieved at the beginning of 2023. Meanwhile, Sun Streams 4 closed in Q4 last year and is the biggest project in the portfolio at 377MWdc of solar PV and a 300MW/1,200MWh BESS.

NEXTracker, Sungrow, Powin, SMA and AESC are all involved in the solar-plus-storage projects with EPC contractor McCarthy. Operations and maintenance (O&M) duties will be carried out by specialist NovaSource Power Services, together with Longroad on the PV side, while Powin is also contracted for O&M on the battery side.

Energy-Storage.news’ publisher Solar Media will host the 6th Energy Storage Summit USA, 19-20 March 2024, in Austin, Texas. Featuring a packed programme of panels, presentations and fireside chats from industry leaders focusing on accelerating the market for energy storage across the country. For more information, go to the website.

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