National Grid invites local community to celebrate construction of Texas solar-plus-storage project

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US and Texas flags at the project site during the celebration in Denton County, Texas, last week. Image: National Grid Renewables YouTube video screenshot.

A community engagement event was hosted last week for a solar-plus-storage project under construction in Denton County, Texas, pairing 275MW of solar PV with 125MW of battery energy storage. 

Hosted by National Grid Renewables, which is developing the project, the economic and environmental benefits of the project for the local area were celebrated at the event, including the appointment of nearly 500 workers — many of them locals — during construction, and the contribution of around US$30 million of combined economic benefit through the area’s tax base and on-site operations and maintenance (O&M) employment over the first 20 years of its operational lifetime. 

The project is under construction and expected to go online next year. 

The Noble Solar and Storage Project is being supplied with thin-film solar PV modules from First Solar and battery energy storage system (BESS) technology from Fluence. First Solar’s Series 6 modules, launched in October last year and manufactured in the US, will be used. 

In a minor coincidence Fluence’s Gridstack battery storage equipment being used is also from the energy storage company’s sixth generation range of products, also launched last year. In a previous press release about the project, the BESS’ capacity was cited as 125MWh, making it a one-hour duration battery system of the type recently seen deployed to capture opportunities in the Texas ERCOT electricity market

Three corporate off-takers have signed power purchase agreements (PPAs) for the solar PV: home improvement retailer The Home Depot, power company NRG and chocolate and candy maker The Hershey Company. Home Depot and NRG each have a 100MW PPA in place and Hershey a 50MW PPA. 

In attendance along with National Grid Renewables, NRG and Hershey executives were representatives from First Solar, Fluence and construction partner Signal Energy, along with clean energy advocacy group Powering Texas, meeting community members, customers and landowners. 

“We are proud to support National Grid Renewables’ Noble project with industry-leading energy storage technology that will help make the electric system cleaner and more resilient.

“A uniquely flexible asset, energy storage delivers value to both the electric grid and consumers by enabling greater use of renewable energy and also providing additional critical grid services,” Fluence’s Americas president John Zahurancik said. 

National Grid Renewables held the event to honour the first annual American Clean Power Week which ran from 25 to 29 October. 

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