RWE Renewables' Hickory Park Solar project, a 195.5-megawatt (MWac) facility coupled with a 40 MW 2-hour battery storage system, located in Mitchell County, Georgia, is under construction. RWE is operator/manager of the solar facility, selling the energy and renewable attributes from the facility to Georgia Power through its Renewable Energy Development Initiative program. The project is expected to be online in late 2021.
The company announced in November 2019 it entered into a 30-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Georgia Power, an investor owned public utility that serves more than 2.6 million customers.
"We are extremely pleased to have a project of this size in Georgia under construction," said Silvia Ortin, COO Onshore Wind and Solar PV Americas. "We look forward to working with Georgia Power, a company that's committed to delivering clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy to advance solar in Georgia."
"We are excited about this new economic boost for our community," said Paige Gilchrist, Executive Director of the Mitchell County Development Authority. "RWE's significant investment will generate new tax dollars for our community as well as bring in hundreds of construction workers who will be spending money here, therefore increasing our local sales tax. It has been a pleasure to work with RWE on this new solar development."
When complete, the Hickory Park solar power plant will interconnect more than 650,000 solar panels, which together will cover an area of about 1,800 acres. The integration of a state-of-the-art DC-coupled storage system will allow the project's energy yield to be optimized and increase the predictability of injection of locally produced electricity into the Georgia Power grid. This demonstrates how RWE is able to propose storage solutions that fit its customers' needs to integrate more clean energy into the grid.
RWE Renewables aspires to play a major role in energy storage across its target markets, where more than 50 percent of the total global utility scale storage additions are expected. In the US, we are developing a number of storage projects either standalone or co-located with our Solar projects.
The U.S. accounts for more than one third of the RWE Group's renewables capacity playing a key role in RWE's strategy to grow its renewables business and to become carbon neutral by 2040. RWE constructs, owns and operates some of the highest performing wind, solar and energy storage projects in the U.S.
In addition to Hickory Park, RWE owns and operates West of the Pecos solar project, a 100 MW (ac) project located in Reeves County, Texas. Furthermore, RWE has significant experience in the U.S. onshore market with more than 4.2 GW (RWE's pro rata share is about 3.6 GW) of onshore wind. In addition, RWE has, at the moment, almost 1 GW of onshore wind farms under construction in the U.S. The projects are located in Texas, Oklahoma, Ohio and New York State.
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