Two large solar power projects—located more than 4,600 miles apart—recently came online in the U.S., providing service in Florida and Hawaii.
Duke Energy on Jan. 8 announced its 74.9-MW Hamilton Solar Power Plant was online. The installation in Jasper, Fla., is part of the company’s plan to build or acquire at least 700 MW of solar power in the state by year-end 2022.
On the same day, the Lawai Solar and Energy Storage Project in Lihue, Hawaii, was commissioned by the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC). The facility began operating in December 2018. The project from AES Corp. is considered the world’s largest battery energy storage system (BESS) paired with solar generation. It combines 28 MW of solar photovoltaic generation capacity across a 150-acre site with a lithium-ion BESS of up to 100 MWh capacity.
The BESS is notable because it holds more energy than all but one other U.S. installation, a 120-MWh facility built by AES in Escondido, Calif., in 2017. Said AES CEO Andres Gluski: “All told, the new system will help Kauai top 60% renewables in the next five years. In the process, it will remove the annual cost and environmental impact of 3.5 million gallons of oil. The plant also avoids fossil fuels and herbicides used in traditional maintenance with 300 sheep on site to manage vegetation in an environmentally-friendly way.” [click for full article]