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Masdar Expands US Presence With Terra-Gen Stake & More From EDPR NA, SRP, MPSC, Eagle Creek, Chart

Solar panels and wind turbine against blue sky

Masdar picking up 50% stake in Terra-Gen; EDPR NA to build new solar farm for Microsoft; SRP and NextEra Energy commission solar & storage plant; MPSC says no to Consumers Energy’s solar for biomass plan; Eagle Creek acquires Lightstar; Chart Industries green hydrogen order. 

Masdar acquires stake in US company: Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company Masdar has announced interest in acquiring a 50% stake in the US-based renewable energy independent power producer (IPP) Terra-Gen Power Holdings II. It has signed a definitive agreement with Terra-Gen investor Energy Capital Partners (ECP). Igneo Infrastructure Partners will retain its 50% stake in the company. Terra-Gen currently operates close to 2.4 GW of wind and solar, and 5.1 GWh of energy storage facilities across 32 renewable energy sites across the US, majorly in Texas and California. With this transaction, Masdar expands its US presence where it already operates over 1.4 GW utility-scale portfolio of wind, solar and storage assets. The deal is expected to close by 2024-end. 

Microsoft-tied solar project in Illinois: EDP Renewables North America (EDPR NA) has signed a partnership with renewable energy developer Volt Energy Utility to develop the 110 MW AC Hickory Solar Park. It will be located near Jerseyville, Illinois in the US. Microsoft has agreed to be the offtaker for electricity as well as renewable energy credits (REC) for 15 years from the project. EDPR NA says the offtake agreement uses an Environmental Justice PPA form developed by Microsoft and Volt to make clean energy investments in rural and urban communities disproportionately impacted by environmental injustices. The project company will purchase and retire carbon offsets proportionate to the emissions generated by its upstream material components and on-site construction and operations impacts. Microsoft is already on board as an offtaker for EDPR NA’s 140 MW AC Wolf Run Solar Park in Illinois, and 150 MW AC Cattlemen Solar Park II in Texas. 

Solar and storage plant in Arizona: Salt River Project (SRP) and NextEra Energy Resources have commissioned the 260 MW Sonoran Solar Energy Center with a battery energy storage system (BESS) in Arizona. The BESS has the capacity to store 1 GWh electricity. The Buckeye-located project is the largest operational BESS in the US state, claim the project partners. Grid-connected electricity generation and storage will help match the electricity consumed by Google’s upcoming data center in Mesa. SRP says excess energy will be used to meet the needs of its other customers. 

No termination for biomass contracts: The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) has rejected Consumers Energy’s requests for early termination of power purchase agreements (PPA) with biomass plant operators. Consumers Energy had asked to terminate its biomass PPA agreements with the National Energy of Lincoln, and Cogeneration Michigan Associates Limited Partnership’s Cadillac Plant. The public utility instead proposed to replace the respective biomass contracts with 33.6 MW and 67 MW solar power plants. The commission believes scrapping the contracts will make Consumers Energy turn to volatile electricity markets to replace some of the energy output and capacity lost with the shutdown of the biomass plants. It also rules that the 2 solar facilities on their own will not be able to replace all the electric capacity from the biomass plants without supplemental purchases from electricity markets. Nonetheless, the commission gave a green signal to the PPA between Consumers Energy and 300 MW Freshwater Solar Project in Montcalm County. 

Eagle Creek acquires Lightstar: Eagle Creek Renewable Energy, through an affiliate company, has acquired US community solar developer Lightstar Renewables. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Ontario Power Generation Eagle Creek says its ownership will enable Lightstar to execute on its growth plans to become a premier community solar independent power producer (IPP). Lightstar owns around 30 MW of capacity under construction and close to 1.2 GW in the development pipeline across multiple markets in the US. Lightstar is a portfolio company of funds managed by Elda River Capital Management and Magnetar. 

Green hydrogen plant in California: Gas equipment manufacturer Chart Industries will supply its equipment to a solar-powered green hydrogen project in California. The Lancaster Clean Energy Center (LCEC) of Element Resources will produce more than 20,000 tons annually through phase I when it comes online in 2026. It will operate off-grid with a dedicated solar PV plant to power Element’s electrolyzers. This clean fuel will serve the growing demand for clean mobility fuels and clean energy for manufacturing, according to Chart. 

Source from Taiyang News

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