Texas’ largest solar farm will soon have a big battery to go with it.
Los Angeles-based FlexGen will supply the 10 megawatt, 42 megawatt-hour battery for Vistra Energy’s 180 megawatt Upton 2 solar farm in West Texas. The system can provide 10 megawatts an hour for more than four hours. One megawatt can power 200 Texas homes in the summer.
The Upton 2 solar plant went online June 1 and is the largest in the state.
The battery system will be housed in 40 shipping container-sized boxes on the site, where work has been going on since May said FlexGen CEO Josh Prueher. The battery is expected to be online by the end of 2018.
While he wouldn’t release the cost of the system Prueher said it is in the tens of millions of dollars.
Prueher’s company has worked on similar battery systems with the military and oil and gas industry for years.
The combination of renewable resources and batteries is not the first in the state. In Ector and Winkler counties Duke Energy’s Notrees wind farm is hooked into a 36 megawatt battery system developed by Younicos. The system has been online since 2012 when it was built with lead-acid batteries, and was recently upgraded in December to lithium-ion batteries.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas or ERCOT, which oversees Texas’ grid supplying 90 percent of its population, showed its summer seasonal grid assessment that six storage projects are operating in Texas.
San Antonio’s city-owned utility CPS Energy has been planning to build a 10 megawatt, 10 megawatt hour battery system hooked up to a five megawatt solar farm for more than a year after winning a $3 million grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality or TCEQ. CPS Energy CEO Paula Gold-Williams has said the facility will be located on the campus of the Southwest Research Institute.