Enel starts construction on 284-MW Azure Sky solar + storage project in Texas

Bifacial Solar Panels

Enel, through its US renewable subsidiary Enel Green Power North America, started construction of the 284 MWdc Azure Sky solar + storage project, its second hybrid project in North America.

Located west of the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Haskell County, Texas, the Azure Sky solar + storage project comprises a 284-MWdc (225-MWac) PV facility paired with an 81-MW battery and is expected to be operational by summer 2021.

The project’s nearly 700,000 PV bifacial panels are expected to generate over 586 GWh each year, which will be delivered to the grid and will charge the battery located in the same facility, which is equivalent to avoiding the annual emission of over 386,000 tons of COinto the atmosphere. The battery will store excess solar energy and provide services to enhance grid flexibility.

The construction process for Azure Sky solar + storage integrates regenerative agriculture and circular economy principles in the design, procurement, construction, operations and end-of-life management aspects of both PV panels and battery systems. The project will use a native and pollinator-friendly seed mix to establish pollinator habitat for the life of the project, generating both operational efficiency and ecosystem services in the form of providing monarch butterflies, honey bees and native pollinators access to a high-quality habitat.

The company has previously implemented pollinator-friendly solar habitat practices at its Aurora solar project in Minnesota through a partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) InSPIRE project.

Home Depot will purchase electricity generated from a 75-MW portion of the Azure Sky solar project through a power purchase agreement (PPA). Home Depot said that’s enough energy to power 150 Home Depot stores.

The agreement is The Home Depot’s largest renewable energy procurement and will help the company along in its goal of procuring 335 MW of renewable or alternative energy as outlined in the company’s recently released 2020 Responsibility Report.

“Enel Green Power is serious about storage in North America. Coming just a few months after our announcement of the Lily project, Azure Sky’s groundbreaking is yet another step forward toward a sustainable future with flexible, hybrid plants that will generate renewable power while further stabilizing power grids,” said Salvatore Bernabei, newly-appointed CEO of Enel Green Power and Head of Enel’s Global Power Generation business line. “This project is testimony to the resilience of the energy transition fueled by innovation and a steady appetite for renewable energy from commercial customers.”

Related News from Enel:

Enel Green Power is pursuing an active growth strategy in the US and Canada and, as part of the Enel Group’s three-year strategic plan, is expected to install around 1 GW of new utility-scale wind and solar projects per year across the two countries. For each renewable project in development, Enel Green Power evaluates the opportunity for paired storage to further monetize the energy production of the renewable plant, while providing additional benefits such as supporting grid reliability.

Other Enel Green Power construction projects across the US and Canada include the aforementioned 181 MWdc[2] Lily solar + storage project in Texas; the 236.5 MW White Cloud wind project in Missouri; the 299 MW Aurora wind project in North Dakota and a 199 MW expansion of the Cimarron Bend wind farm in Kansas.

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