Enel Green Power has started the construction of the Lily solar+storage project, its first hybrid project in North America that integrates a renewable energy plant with utility-scale battery storage.
By pairing the two technologies, Enel can store energy generated by the renewable plants to be delivered when needed, such as to help smooth the supply of electricity to the grid or during periods of high electricity demand. In addition to the Lily solar+storage project, Enel plans to install approximately 1 GW of battery storage capacity across its new and existing wind and solar projects in the U.S. over the next two years.
“This substantial commitment to deploy battery storage capacity underscores the importance of Enel’s hybrid projects that will drive the ongoing decarbonization of the power sector in the U.S. and around the world,” says Antonio Cammisecra, CEO of Enel Green Power.
“The Lily solar+storage project highlights the huge potential of renewable energy growth and represents the future of power generation, which will increasingly be made up by sustainable, flexible plants that provide zero-carbon electricity while boosting grid stability,” he adds.
Located southeast of Dallas in Kaufman County, Texas, the Lily solar+storage project comprises a 146 MW AC photovoltaic (PV) facility paired with a 50 MW AC battery and is expected to be operational by summer 2021.
Lily’s 421,400 PV bifacial panels are expected to generate over 367 GWh each year, which will be delivered to the grid and will charge the co-located battery. The battery storage system is capable of storing up to 75 MWh at a time to be dispatched when solar power generation is low, while also providing the grid access to a clean supply of electricity during periods of high demand.
The Lily solar project was initiated and developed by Red River Renewable Energy LLC, a joint venture among affiliates of Sun Chase Power and MAP Energy LLC.
The construction process for Lily is following Enel Green Power’s Sustainable Construction Site model, a collection of best practices aimed at minimizing the impact of plant construction on the environment.
Enel is exploring a multi-purpose land-use model at the Lily site focused on innovative, mutually beneficial agricultural practices in concert with bifacial solar development and operations. In particular, the company plans to test growing crops under the panels as well as cultivate groundcover plants that support pollinators for the benefit of nearby farmland. The company has previously implemented a similar initiative at the Aurora solar project in Minnesota through a partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, focused on pollinator-friendly plants and grasses.
Photo: Enel Green Power’s Aurora solar project