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US’s largest solar + battery project comes online in Kern County, California

Image: Mortenson

Edwards & Sanborn (E&S), the largest solar + battery storage project in the US, has come online in California, the project's operator and contractor announced.

The project, with 875 MW of solar and 3,320 MWh of energy storage capacity, is situated in Kern County and spread across 4,660 acres in the Mojave desert. Construction began in 2020, with capacities coming online in phases.

E&S is owned and operated by Terra-Gen, which claims to be among the largest independent integrated renewable energy companies in the US, with EPC player Mortenson serving as a full engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the project's solar and energy storage aspects.


World's largest solar + battery project comes online in South Africa -  

Norwegian company Scatec ASA announced it has started producing and supplying electricity from the Kenhardt project in South Africa, the world's largest solar and battery project. Located in the Northern Cape Province, the ~$1 billion project has installed solar capacity of 540 MW and a battery storage capacity of 225 MW/ 1,140 MWh. It delivers 150 MW of dispatchable power from 5 am to 9.30 pm round the year under a 20-year power purchase agreement with South Africa's national power and grid company Eskom.

E&S reportedly features 1.9 million First Solar PV panels and 120,720 long-duration energy storage batteries from LG Chem, Samsung, and BYD, connected by 400 miles of wire. It will supply power to the City of San Jose, Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and the Clean Power Alliance, and Starbucks, besides others.

The project is set to grow larger still, with development work underway to interconnect an additional 2,000 MW of solar and energy storage to the CAISO grid. Once complete, the Edward Sanborn project is estimated to offer up to 3.35 GW of solar storage.

In a statement, Brian Gorda, Vice-President of Engineering at Terra-Gen, said: "Now fully operational, this facility is a transformational project in the industry and is providing resiliency to the grid."

"The Mortenson team was tasked with an extremely difficult goal to build this project, and they proved to be the right partner for the job. We are excited to bring Edwards & Sanborn online and benefitting the people of California," Gorda added.

Mark Donahue, senior Vice-President at Mortenson, said in a statement: "Mortenson is honored to help Terra-Gen deliver the Edwards & Sanborn project and provide the region with clean, resilient power." 

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