North America Gets First Utility-Scale Co-located Wind, Solar, Battery Storage Project
The Wheatridge facilities comprise 380 MW of solar, wind, and battery storage
NextEra Energy Resources, the clean energy arm of the U.S.-based NextEra Energy, and Portland General Electric (PGE) have commissioned the first co-located utility-scale wind, solar, and battery storage-based project in North America to supply clean energy to its customers in Oregon.
The Wheatridge Renewable Energy project near Lexington in Morrow County of Oregon comprises 300 MW of wind, 50 MW of solar, and 30 MW of battery storage. Combined, these technologies yield reliable power from clean, carbon-free resources.
Portland General Electric is a fully integrated energy company serving approximately 900,000 customers with a service area population of 2 million in 51 cities. It owns 16 power generation projects across Oregon and other north-western states.
Wheatridge Renewable Energy project generates power using wind and solar technology. The power not in immediate use is stored through a battery storage system and delivered to consumers during less or no wind or when the sun is not bright enough.
The facilities are enabled to power at least 100,000 households and play a key role in helping PGE meet Oregon’s targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from power served to retail customers by at least 80% by 2030, 90% by 2035, and 100% by 2040.
Power from Wheatridge will reach PGE customers through a new transmission line that connects Wheatridge with the Bonneville Power Administration’s regional high-voltage grid.
PGE owns 100 MW of the wind project. A subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources has built the combined facility. It owns and operates the balance of the project and will sell its output to PGE under 30- and 20-year power purchase agreements.
Nearly 12.5 GW of new utility-scale solar capacity came online in the U.S. in 2021, taking the cumulative capacity to 51.34 GW across 1,131 projects.
The U.S. must deploy 40–90 GW of solar and 70–150 GW of wind energy every year until 2030 to decarbonize the country’s power sector by 2035, a recent report by the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy said.