RWE Renewables‘ Hickory Park Solar project, a 195.5-MWac facility coupled with a 40-MW 2-hour battery storage system, located in Mitchell County, Georgia, is under construction. RWE is the operator and manager of the solar + storage 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 Hickory Park Solar plant will mark our first solar facility in Georgia and our largest solar + storage project in the U.S. to date,” said Silvia Ortin, COO of onshore wind and solar PV Americas, RWE Renewables. “The addition of this facility to our operating portfolio is just one example of RWE’s strong focus on the U.S. market and its growing ambition in solar and battery storage. The co-location of a solar plant along with storage provides us flexibility in finding solutions to fulfill the energy requirements of our customers.”
The company announced in November 2019 it entered into a 30-year power purchase agreement with Georgia Power, an investor-owned public utility that serves more than 2.6 million customers.
“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% of the total global utility-scale storage additions are expected, the company state in a press release.
The United States 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.
In addition to Hickory Park, RWE owns and operates West of the Pecos solar project, a 100 MWac project located in Reeves County, Texas. RWE has recently entered into a joint venture, New England Alpha Ventus, focused on offshore wind in the state of Maine.
News item from RWE Renewables