- At 495 megawatts, project is ‘five times’ bigger than others
- Set for 2021, it’s located within the oil-rich Permian Basin
The 495-megawatt storage system would be built in tandem with a solar farm of the same size in Borden County, Texas. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas Inc., which operates most of the state’s grid, posted the details in a chart that shows the state’s battery storage will surge more than sixfold to 584 megawatts when the projects are completed in 2021.
Bigger batteries are being developed to help make the electricity produced through solar and wind power more efficient, even when the sun goes down and it gets less breezy. Recent battery-backed solar projects have, at most, 100 megawatts of panels and 30 megawatts of storage, said Yayoi Sekine, an analyst at BloombergNEF.
“This would be about five times that,” Sekine said in an interview.
The project underscores how Big Oil’s demand for power in the fossil fuels-rich Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico is, in a twist, boosting the case for renewable energy. Texas’s power grid operator has stressed the need for more electricity resources in the region to power oil and gas drilling operations.