AES Corporation takes ownership of largest U.S. solar-plus-storage project

Published on June 09, 2023 by Chris Galford

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With acquisition of the 2 GW Bellefield project in California, the AES Corporation this week became the owner of the largest permitted solar-plus-storage project in the United States.

The project is not yet complete, though – it will be rolled out in two phases. Each phase will provide up to 500 MW of solar and up to 500 MW of four-hour duration battery energy storage as a supplement. All will be located in California’s Kern County, where the company already hosts significant operations.

“This significant acquisition accelerates AES’ deployment of unique renewable energy solutions to our key corporate clients in the California market,” Andrés Gluski, AES president and CEO, said. “With the addition of Bellefield phase one, our signed PPA backlog grows to more than 12 GW, which represents growth of more than 80% from our current installed renewable generation fleet. The vast majority of this backlog is expected to come online over the next two years, consolidating AES’ position as one of the fastest growing renewables companies and a global leader in supplying clean energy to corporate customers.”

Phase one comes with a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement for hourly, carbon-free energy delivered to an existing AES corporate customer, although the company expects to contract up to another 1 GW of solar-plus-storage over phase two, by year’s end. Avantus, the seller, originally developed the two phases, and they are expected to conclude in 2025 and 2026, respectively.