Battery storage developer Spearmint Energy has started building a 150MW/300MWh unit in the ERCOT, Texas market, its first project.
The company announced the start of construction of the two-hour duration ‘Revolution’ energy storage project in West Texas last week (15 December). The new developer acquired the project, which will be next to a 279MW wind farm, in July.
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Engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) specialist Mortensen is delivering the project through the construction of the battery storage facility, substation and transmission line for connection to the ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) grid.
It will be one of the largest battery energy storage systems (BESS) in the US when it is commissioned in mid-2023, Spearmint claimed, and will help the Texas grid transition away from fossil fuels.
CEO Andrew Waranch, who recently wrote a guest blog for Energy-Storage.news about why the Texas grid needs battery storage added:
“Revolution will provide critical grid resiliency and reliability services to enable the continued deployment of low-cost renewable energy in ERCOT at a time when our nation is grappling with challenges brought by a changing climate, rising oil and natural gas prices, increasing demand for electricity, and the impacts of supply chain constraints, inflation, and tariffs on the construction of new generation facilities.”
The vast majority of Texas’ renewable energy comes from wind farms, which is in contrast to sunnier states like California which mostly get theirs from solar PV. Wind is a more intermittent resource than solar PV and so batteries have a key role to play in smoothing out the peaks and troughs in generation.
As of July 2022, ERCOT had 1,639MW of BESS projects connected and synchronised to its grid. According to the grid operator’s own data, it has around another 1,800MW of BESS projects expected to enter commercial operation before the end of the year, bringing the total to around 3,400MW online.
Miami-headquartered Spearmint also recently hired four executives to its team, including new senior VP of project technology Chris Wright, formerly of utility Nextera Energy Resources; new senior VP of project execution Jeff Jackson, formerly of Mortensen; new VP of project finance Nicolas Cottely, formerly of solar and storage developer Origis Energy; and a new data scientist Allen Yu from energy trading and risk management firm XO Energy.