Texas solar power plant
Texas solar power plant. Image: Roschetzky Photography Shutterstock

These are the five largest solar projects currently planned or underway in the United States (all project sizes are listed as either DC or DC).

Gemini.

The 571 megawatt Gemini Solar Project is the only one on the list to include remarkable battery capacity, a growing trend among large solar power plants in the United States. This is still under development, its completion is scheduled for 2020.

Co-developer Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners said the inclusion of storage is expected to reduce carbon emissions compared to traditional production sources by more than 1.5 million tonnes each year. In June, NV Energy signed a 25-year power purchase agreement for the project, as part of Berkshire Hathaway-owned utility company’s plans to add 1.2 gigawatts of solar power and hundreds megawatts of storage until 2023.

In April, Nevada passed a law requiring 50% renewable electricity by 2030. Gemini is located on the outskirts of Las Vegas and was co-developed by California-based Arevia Power.

Poplar.

Texas has several locations on this list, starting with the 577 megawatt Alamo project in San Antonio.

South Korea’s OCI was introduced to the US market via Texas long before it became the hot market it is today. OCI Solar Power developed the projects in 2015 and 2016. It then sold several of them to Consolidated Edison Development, the renewable energy development subsidiary owned by the utility Con Ed.

OCI connected a 1 megawatt energy storage system to one of the solar parks, which the developer says was designed to provide a rapid response to the ERCOT market.

Topaz.

Like Texas, First Solar makes several appearances on the list, starting with the third project, the 668 megawatt Topacio solar farm in California.

Pacific Gas & Electric is the middleman, and the utility’s bankruptcy has raised questions about several large renewable energy projects, including Topaz. In January, the rating agencies downgraded the project due to its reliance on PG&E for its revenue. Moody’s returned to a positive outlook after PG&E presented its reorganization plan. The utility company is committed to honoring its renewable energy contracts.

Desert sunlight.

Despite years of success, there has been drama after Desert Sunlight, the first 673 megawatt solar project in California’s Mojave Desert, which ranks second. The co-owners are General Electric, NextEra Energy and Sumitomo of America.

In July 2015, the owners of the project sued the Treasury Department because the government failed to meet its payments to renewable energy projects like Desert Sunlight under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the same law that required significant development of renewable energies during Obama. Biden years). Columbia’s United States District Court dismissed the lawsuit in March 2016.

Misae 2.

Texas has become a booming city for large-scale solar power and now boasts America’s largest project, still in development. The 692 megawatt Misae 2 project is expected to be operational by 2021.

LAE American Energy, a subsidiary of Argentine solar, wind and biomass developer Latinoamericana EnergĂ­a, co-developed Misae 2 with Texan owner and physician Miguel Oneto. This is the second phase of Misae Solar Parks, two projects totaling over 1 gigawatt. The first Misae project was sold to investment firm Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, while Misae 2 was sold to an anonymous investor.

So far, Misae is the only LAE project in the United States, but it’s no surprise that the company has decided to locate in Texas. As GTM reported in July, solar power is gaining ground in the Texan market, historically dominated by wind power. What the state lacks in political incentives (such as a renewable portfolio standard) it compensates in a conducive business environment and in its exclusively energy market.

While US projects steadily dominated the global size rankings at the start of this decade, they have been largely eclipsed by gigantic solar installations in markets such as China and the Middle East.

Colin Smith, solar analyst at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, said U.S. developers tend to seek smaller deals.

It’s not unreasonable that we see a 1 gigawatt project one of these days, but it’s actually easier to do two 500 megawatt projects over a six month period to get better prices and better deals. purchase, and to develop a more diversified portfolio. for the developer and the utility provider.