Westbridge gets approval for Alberta solar-plus-storage project with 100MW/200MWh BESS

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Westbridge Renewable Energy has received approval for one of its four large-scale solar-plus-storage projects in Alberta, Canada.

The developer said yesterday that its “flagship” Georgetown Solar + Energy Storage Project received Power Plant and Battery Energy Storage System Approval as well as permit and license to build a related substation, from the Alberta Utilities Commission.

The project would pair a solar PV plant of up to 230MWac/278MWdc with up to 200MWh of battery storage sharing the site and interconnection to the grid. Approval was granted to a Westbridge subsidiary, Georgetown Solar.

Westbridge offered a corporate update to investors in March this year, in which it said the BESS at Georgetown was anticipated to be 100MW output. At the same time, the company unveiled another development project in the Canadian province, called Sunnynook, which would pair 236MWdc of solar with a BESS of the same size as at Georgetown.

In June, the company announced another Alberta solar-plus-storage project. Called Dolcy, that project would pair 250MWdc of solar PV with another 100MW BESS.

Then last week it announced its fourth and biggest project in Alberta to date, Eastervale, which will be a 300MWp solar PV plant and a 200MW/400MWh BESS.

Elsewhere, the company has one solar-only project, a 221MW plant in Texas and a 53MW/106MWh standalone battery storage project in the UK under development, for which it secured grid connection this summer. The company noted that its BESS developments now add up to 553MW/1,106MWh, alongside 1,285MW of solar PV.

Westbridge’s four Alberta projects are now all at Stage 2 or Stage 3 of the Alberta Energy System Operator (AESO) grid connection process, which has four stages in total.

Alberta only got its first grid-scale battery storage system in 2020, a few months after the province’s first solar-plus-storage project was granted development approval.

The state now has a few notable projects underway, such as two partly government-funded solar-plus-storage projects which will use flow batteries, a 216MWac solar PV plant with 80MW/80MWh of batteries from developer GreenGate Power Corporation, and a 180MW BESS which TransAlta Renewables propose to build at a hydroelectric power plant.

It has also recently become host to a number of solar PV projects, including a 47MW project that German developer Goldbeck Solar began constructing recently, and Suncor Energy’s recently sold development pipeline of solar and wind assets that included 1.5GW of PV in Alberta.

Canada’s government just announced a few days ago that it intends to introduce investment tax credit incentives for clean energy generation sources like solar PV and all forms of energy storage, including batteries and other technologies.

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