WEC Energy Group unveils 310MW solar project in Wisconsin
WEC Energy Group has unveiled plans for a 310MW solar and battery storage project in Wisconsin.
The Paris Solar-Battery Park in Kenosha County would contain 200 MW of solar generation - equal to powering 60,000 homes - and 110MW of battery storage which can store solar power and discharge it at night.
"This project is another concrete example of our commitment to build a bright, sustainable future," said Tom Metcalfe, President - We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service. "As the largest renewable energy investor in the state, we know the importance of clean energy. Projects like this maintain reliability, deliver significant savings to customers and support the goals of the Governor's Task Force on Climate Change."
WEC Energy plans to invest $2 billion in new solar, wind and battery storage projects by 2025 and reduce carbon emissions 70 percent by 2030.
The company's long-range plan aims to save utility customers more than $1 billion over the next 20 years.
If approved, WEC Energy Group utilities We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service, would own 90 percent of the project, and Madison Gas and Electric would own 10 percent.
The project is being developed by Invenergy. If approved, construction is expected to begin in 2022 and the project is scheduled to go into service in 2023.
WEC Energy Group reported net income of $1.20 billion, or $3.79 per share, for 2020, compared with $1.13 billion, or $3.58 per share, for 2019.
For Q4 2020, it recorded net income of $239 million, or 76 cents per share, up from $243.9 million, or 77 cents per share, year-on-year.
Total recently strengthened its presence in the US by acquiring a development pipeline of 2.2 GW of solar projects, and 600 MW of battery storage assets, all in Texas.
The projects have been bought from SunChase Power, a renewable energy company focused on developing utility-scale energy projects, and MAP RE/ES, a private energy investment firm (click here).
The American Clean Power Association (ACP) has formally launched with a new website and ad campaign showcasing the renewable energy industry's potential (click here).
Octopus Renewables buys Eclipse Power
The deal, which was completed with funds managed by Octopus, furthers Octopus’ involvement in the electricity distribution sector, having worked with Eclipse since 2018. It will allow Eclipse to continue the expansion of its team, while also investing in its systems, technology, and pipeline, with the ambition of making it one of UK’s leading IDNOs.
Eclipse has secured a portfolio of more than 10,000 connections across residential, industrial, commercial, battery storage and electric vehicle charging customers. Given the focus on electrification of heat, transport and industry in the UK, Eclipse is expected to play an important role in facilitating the UK’s energy transition.
Octopus Renewables is the largest investor of utility scale solar power in Europe, as well as a leading investor in onshore wind and biomass, managing a global portfolio valued at more than £3.5 billion. Institutional investor Nest partnered with the company in March.
Peter Dias, Investment Director, Octopus Renewables, said: “Having worked with Eclipse since 2018 and seeing their exciting growth, we’re thrilled to be able to make this acquisition and support the team to maintain this momentum.
“The acquisition of Eclipse is part of our strategy to identify and back great management teams that are supporting the energy transition. With ongoing support and investment, our investee businesses will have access to the expertise, business networks and financing to be able to scale faster and help contribute towards the UK’s net-zero goals.
“High-quality management of the distribution networks is going to be critical for the UK, and we are very pleased to be directly supporting the decarbonisation of heat, transport, and industry through this acquisition of Eclipse.”
Gary Gay, Managing Director, Eclipse, added Octopus shares a clear understanding of the important role that electricity distribution networks will play in the UK’s drive towards net-zero, and importance of a customer-focussed approach for building future smart distribution networks.
“With that, we are excited to now be part of the Octopus Group, with this investment helping us to reach the next stage of our growth journey and contribute to a greener, more efficient electricity network in the UK.”
Global renewables updates
ReNew Power recently won a 200MW/ac Interstate Transmission System (ISTS) solar generation project in an auction conducted by the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company. ReNew Power expects to sign a 25-Year Power Purchase Agreement with the utility by the third fiscal quarter of 2022 to supply clean energy to Maharashtra at a tariff of Rs 2.43/ kWh (~US$0.033).
Natel Energy, a supplier of sustainable hydropower solutions, has announced a $20M funding round led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures and supported by Chevron Technology Ventures.
The company will use the funding to deploy its Restoration Hydro Turbine (RHT), which enables cost-effective production of distributed reliable renewable energy.
Duke Energy Florida plans to invest an estimated $1 billion in 10 new solar power plants across Florida, including the construction of four new sites, which will begin in early 2022 and will take approximately 9 to 12 months to complete. Construction of all 10 sites is projected to be finished by late 2024.
LG Electronics has made public its commitment to transition completely to renewable energy by 2050 as a key component of its sustainability strategy.