RWE is expanding its renewable energy portfolio in the United States. The newest feather in the cap is the successful integration of its initial utility-scale battery energy storage system (BESS) with the California Independent System Operator. Named the Fifth Standard, the project encompasses a 150-megawatt (MWac) solar photovoltaic (PV) facility that is slated for completion in August. Notably, the BESS facility, situated in Fresno County, California, has an impressive capacity of 137 MWac, which marks RWE’s largest BESS installation thus far.
Situated approximately 45 miles southwest of Fresno, California, the Fifth Standard project is spread over approximately 1,600 acres and consists of 369,334 photovoltaic panels. This expansive solar farm will be able to generate an ample supply of clean electricity, capable of powering over 26,000 homes. By contributing to California’s ambitious clean energy objectives, the project is aligned with the state’s pursuit of achieving net-zero emissions by 2045.
To optimize energy production, the solar panels at the site will utilize a racking system equipped with solar trackers, designed to track the sun’s trajectory and enhance overall energy output. Any surplus energy that isn’t immediately transmitted to the grid will be stored within an on-site lithium-ion battery energy storage facility. Remarkably, this storage system boasts an impressive capacity of up to 548-megawatt hours (MWh), enabling the plant to maximize its value by releasing solar energy during peak electric demand periods. Notably, it can discharge a substantial 137 MW into the grid over a span of four hours.
“Projects like Fifth Standard, with its co-located battery storage system, will become increasingly important to help ensure that as renewables form a bigger part of the energy mix, the electricity produced can be used when it is needed most,” said Mark Noyes, CEO of RWE Clean Energy. “In our case, future growth is backed by project development pipeline comprising more than 24 gigawatts in onshore wind, solar and battery storage, one of the largest in the U.S.”