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More from California: Arevon’s 600MWh ‘solar peaker plant’, Hecate commissions 80MWh standalone BESS

Arevon’s recently commissioned Saticoy BESS project in Oxnard, California. Image: Courtesy of Arevon.

Renewable energy company Arevon has acquired its first project since being spun out from asset management firm Capital Dynamics, a large-scale solar-plus-storage plant in California. 

The project, Vikings Energy Farm, is notable for being a solar peaker plant — combining solar PV with battery storage to directly assist the local grid in meeting its demand for power at times of peak energy use. 

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An application more traditionally associated with gas and other fossil fuel assets, the plant’s 150MW of solar PV being paired with 150MW / 600MWh of battery storage will enable it to shift the solar production into the late afternoon and evening hours. 

Currently under development and scheduled to begin providing local capacity and renewable energy to Community Choice Aggregator (CCA) energy supplier San Diego Community Power in 2023, Arevon acquired the project from developer RAI Energy and its partner Apex Energy Solutions, it said today. 

The project will be constructed using union labour and a programme to benefit the local community will be created by Arevon, in line with original commitments made by the original developers. 

It’s yet another clean energy project in a state which has already been prolific in its solar and energy storage development, but still needs much more to come online fast to mitigate huge energy shortfalls in summer peaks and to meet policy goals to achieve 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045. 

Off-takers for many of the recent projects announced in California have been CCAs, which offer customers the choice of where their power comes from. Meanwhile four-hour duration projects like Vikings are becoming increasingly common in California and in other parts of the US with aggressive renewable energy aims. 

Arevon meanwhile announced last week that it has brokered a 2GW / 6GWh battery energy storage system (BESS) master supply agreement with Tesla for California projects. The agreement covers nine large-scale projects that are expected to come online in 2022 and 2023. 

Arevon said that by the end of 2021 it will have already brought online 250MW / 1,000MWh of projects using Tesla’s Megapack BESS in California and in Nevada. 

In an exclusive interview following the renewable energy company’s spin out from Capital Dynamics to become its own entity in August, our sister site PV Tech heard from Arevon CEO John Breckenridge that it sees vertical integration and the ability to procure equipment from suppliers at scale as central to its business strategy.  

Hecate brings online project which will be used for multi-year study

Also announced this week was the completion of a 20MW / 80MWh standalone battery storage system in Orange County, California, by renewables developer Hecate Energy’s energy storage JV with investor InfraRed Capital Partners. 

The JV, Hecate Grid, said that a ribbon cutting ceremony was held just before the end of September for Johanna Energy Storage System. Off-taker contracts have been signed for the system’s output by Clean Power Alliance — another CCA — and investor-owned utility Southern California Edison (SCE).

Johanna ESS came about as the result of a pilot programme launched by SCE to assess preferred resources. 

As reported in July 2020, Hecate Grid awarded a contract to supply the complete lithium iron phosphate (LFP) BESS solution to Mitsubishi Power Americas (then known as Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Americas). Mitsubishi Power Americas is also providing servicing over a 10-year contract. 

The project, in Orange County city Santa Ana, is being used in a multi-year study of how distributed energy resources can be integrated into the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) electric grid. 

“The Johanna ESS — and energy storage in general — is key to enabling the grid to match fluctuations in the supply and demand of electricity,” Hecate director of asset management Yohan Ko said. 

“Storage is pivotal to reliably serve our customers with the high levels of renewable energy they demand,” Clean Power Alliance executive director Ted Bardacke said, adding that storage is the “missing piece of the clean energy puzzle here in California”. 

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