Mitsubishi, Powin to provide battery storage retrofits to California solar projects

solar pv in a field
Garland Solar Facility. Photo courtesy Kern County Planning

Southern Power has awarded a combined 640-MWh energy storage project to Mitsubishi Power Americas and Powin LLC.

The two-site utility-scale battery project is designed to enhance California’s grid reliability with additional and flexible resource capacity paired with renewable energies. Southern Power is the wholesale energy wing of Atlanta-based utility owner Southern Co.

The battery energy storage systems (BESS) represent some of the largest retrofits of solar and storage in North America, the companies said. Southern Power’s 205-MW Garland Solar Facility in Kern County (pictured) will add 88 MW/352-MWh of energy storage, while the 204-MW Tranquility Solar Facility in Fresno County will add 72 MW/288 MWh of BESS capacity.

Both projects are scheduled to come online in 2021.

Mitsubishi Power is excited to leverage our network of capabilities in the Americas and globally to bring low carbon solutions to Southern Power,” Tom Cornell, senior vice president of Mitsubishi Power’s NEXT, said. “These battery energy storage projects, which will use lithium iron phosphate technology, fit within our vision to provide short- and long-term energy storage solutions that include lithium ion, hydrogen, and other emerging storage technologies.

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The energy storage projects will be owned in partnership with AIP Management and Global Atlantic Financial Group, both of which have existing ownership interests in the Garland and Tranquillity solar facilities that went into commercial operation in 2016. Southern Power operates the solar projects and will be responsible for operating the energy storage projects upon completion.

“This award highlights the fact that large-scale solar PV paired with energy storage is cost competitive,” Geoff Brown, CEO of Powin, said. “We applaud Southern Power for taking this step toward helping California meet its clean energy goals with energy storage.”

Headquartered in Tualatin, Oregon, Powin has built over 600 MWh of systems, supporting 54 projects in 10 states and 8 countries. Powin has a contracted pipeline to supply over 4,000 MWh of energy storage systems globally over the next five years.

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