RWE Clean Energy

RWE connects its first utility-scale battery storage project to the California grid

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  • Project, named Fifth Standard, is company’s largest U.S. storage facility to date, at 137 megawatts (MW), and includes a 150-MW solar PV array expected to be complete in August
  • When fully energized, the facility, located in Fresno County, will have the capacity to power more than 26,000 homes

AUSTIN, Texas, June 14, 2023

RWE continues to expand its renewables portfolio in the U.S., connecting its first utility-scale battery energy storage system (BESS) to the California Independent System Operator. The project, Fifth Standard, also includes a 150-megawatt (MWac) solar PV facility, expected to be complete in August. The BESS facility, at 137-MW (ac) and located in Fresno County, Calif., is the company’s largest to date.

The battery storage system can discharge 137 MW into the grid over a four-hour period.

“Projects like Fifth Standard, with its co-located battery storage system, will become increasingly important to help ensure that as renewables form a bigger part of the energy mix, the electricity produced can be used when it is needed most,” said Mark Noyes, CEO of RWE Clean Energy. “In our case, future growth is backed by project development pipeline comprising more than 24 gigawatts in onshore wind, solar and battery storage, one of the largest in the U.S.”

Fifth Standard is located approximately 45 miles southwest of Fresno, Calif., and will consist of 369,334 photovoltaic panels and cover approximately 1,600 acres. The project, which will have the capacity to generate enough green electricity to power more than 26,000 homes, supports California’s clean energy goals as the state works toward its net zero goal of 2045.

The solar panels onsite will leverage a racking system with solar trackers, designed to follow the sun’s path and increase energy output. Excess energy not sent to the grid will be stored in an onsite lithium-ion battery energy storage facility. This storage system, which has up to 548 megawatt hours (MWh) of capacity, will allow the plant to maximize value by releasing solar energy when electric demand is highest.

Fifth Standard is expected to generate up to $10 million in revenue to local taxing jurisdictions during its lifetime. During peak construction, the project will employ more than 300 workers.

Capturing solar energy is an effective and efficient use of so-called Natural Capital, the world's stock of natural resources. RWE’s deployment of solar parks around the U.S. enables the company to secure the land for biodiversity for several decades and can provide habitats for a variety of species during the operating lives of projects.

Pictures for media use are available at the RWE Media Center. Credit: RWE.