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Enel starts work on huge Lily solar + storage project in Texas

Bifacial Solar Panels

Yesterday, Enel Green Power announced that it had started 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.

Located southeast of Dallas in Kaufman County, Texas, the Lily solar + storage project comprises a 146 MWac photovoltaic (PV) facility paired with a 50 MWac / 75 MWh 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.

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 United States over the next two years.

Quick Facts about Lily Solar+Storage: 
  • 421,400 bifacial PV panels; expected to generate over 367 GWh
  • 50 MW ac battery capable of storing up to 75 MWh at a time 
  • Operational (expected) by summer 2021. 

“This substantial commitment to deploy battery storage capacity underscores Enel’s leadership in constructing innovative hybrid projects that will drive the ongoing decarbonization of the power sector in the United States and around the world,” said Antonio Cammisecra, CEO of Enel Green Power. “

The Lily solar plus 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.”

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, according to the company. Enel said it is exploring a multi-purpose land use model at the Lily site focused on 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.

Related: Putting the ‘Farm’ Back in Solar Farms

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.  

Related: Enel Kicks Off Construction of 150 MW of Distributed Solar in Minnesota