Another massive solar-related energy storage project to be built in Texas

Another massive solar-related energy storage project to be built in Texas

March 28, 2024 0 By Tami Hood

The Lone Star State needs more solar and battery storage to keep up with demand.

In addition to meeting demand, power-guzzling Texas also needs this energy storage to balance the grid. To help the state with its demands and need for grid balance, Enel North America, Texas’ largest utility-scale storage operator has a plan.

Pairing a solar farm with battery storage.

The utility has begun building the Ables Springs Solar + Storage Project in Kaufman County. The energy storage project, which is near Dallas, combines a 186-MW solar farm with 115 MW/169 MWh battery storage.

Once Ables Springs is built, it will be Enel’s 17th renewable power project in Texas. Presently, the utility has installed 3.8 GW of wind and solar as well as more than 1 GW of grid-scale storage.

This latest solar production and energy storage project is expected to produce 320 GWh of clean energy every year. This is enough clean power for more than 30,000 households. Throughout its lifetime, it is anticipated that Ables Springs will produce an estimated $60 million in tax revenue for schools and public services. It is slated to be up and running in 2024.

Renewable energy storage is important to Texas.

The reason is the state consumes more power than any other in the US. What’s more, energy demand in Texas continues to grow. In recent years, the state has turned to generating energy from renewable sources and is the nation’s leader in solar and wind energy. It now has its sights set on battery storage to maintain the reliability of the ERCOT grid, especially with the rise of extreme weather and increasing power needs.

Energy storage - Enel company logo

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“When ERCOT conditions tightened this winter,” said head of Enel Green Power North America, Stephen Pike, “Enel’s solar and storage plants provided crucial generation.” Pike added that quick-response batteries also aided in keeping the heat and lights working.

No stranger to inclement weather.

hydrogen news ebookReliable energy storage is a must for Texas, which is a hotbed for extreme weather, powerful storms, and natural disasters. Recently, a powerful baseball-sized hailstorm hit just southwest of Houston, damaging thousands of solar panels on a farm in the process. That particular solar project (Fighting Jays Solar Farm) has been generating power for the state’s energy grid since 2022. It generates 350 MW across 3,300 acres and can power 62,000 homes.

Considering the increasing number of natural disasters hitting Texas, additional new grid battery capacity (6.4 GW) that is expected to be added to the state in 2024, can’t be installed fast enough.

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