Wärtsilä rides solar storage wave in Hawaii and California

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Finnish industrial giant Wärtsilä has announced deals to supply its energy storage systems across five different sites in the US states of Hawaii and California.

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The company, better known over its long history as a supplier of marine power systems, has been adding large-scale energy storage to its portfolio in recent times. It says the new contracts with Clearway Energy Group add up to a total of 500 MW/2 GWh energy storage and will add vital grid balancing capacity to Clearway’s solar projects across Hawaii and California, states that receive some of the highest annual rates of sunshine across the US.

“The US is a bellwether for the global energy transition and projects like these demonstrate that decarbonisation is possible on a grand scale anywhere in the world,” said Håkan Agnevall, president and CEO, Wärtsilä. “Energy storage as a flexible balancing power asset is an essential component for a 100 per cent renewable energy future.

The facilities will be powered by Wärtsilä’s GridSolv Quantum storage system - Wärtsilä

“We are very proud and grateful for being awarded these significant projects, which are major indicators of Wärtsilä’s position as a leading provider of global flexibility solutions for the clean energy transition. We focus on power system optimisation and the integration of different generating assets, providing our customers with the highest reliability at the lowest overall energy cost. Across the globe, we have been delivering energy storage systems at increasing scope and scale to help our customers meet their decarbonisation goals.”

The rollout will include the Daggett 2 and Daggett 3 projects in San Bernardino, which combined represent one of the largest co-located photovoltaic plus storage facilities in California, at 482 MW of solar PV and 275 MW/1.1 GWh of energy storage. Located next to a retired coal and gas plant, the AC-coupled storage systems will provide clean power during California’s increasingly volatile peak periods. The state is targeting a 100 per cent carbon-free electricity system by 2045.

All five sites across the two states will be served by Wärtsilä’s GridSolv Quantum, a modular, containerised battery storage system, as well as the GEMS Digital Energy Platform, Wärtsilä’s energy management platform. Each project will also include long-term service deals with Wärtsilä.

“Energy prices, security and decarbonisation are the most crucial issues on the agenda globally and the combined scale of these deals demonstrates the role of solar and storage in accelerating the delivery of low-cost clean energy at scale,” said Sushil Purohit, president Wärtsilä Energy and executive vice president at Wärtsilä.

“Energy storage, along with grid balancing engines and power system optimisation are crucial in enabling self-sufficiency, reliability and security to deliver the lowest cost renewable power for communities, while enabling states and countries to achieve their net zero goals.”