wpd continues to successfully position itself as a project developer in the North American market for wind and solar energy. With the conceptual design of a wind farm currently under development as a ‘hybrid system project’ combining wind energy, solar energy and storage technology, the company is also expanding its expertise.
The project, called ‘Horse Heaven’, is a combination of two wind energy projects in Benton County, Washington State in the Northwest of the USA, which were initially planned separately by wpd and Scout Clean Energy. In a market-oriented adaptation of the project, in 2019 wpd sold project assets to Scout including interconnection queue positions, land leases and wind data. These assets were combined with those held by Scout to best position the hybrid wind-solar-storage project for market. With Scout as the project developer, the two companies continue to cooperate in the development of the Horse Heaven project guided by a Cooperation Agreement that establishes wpd as a long-term investor.
Scout Clean Energy is a US-American developer of wind energy projects based in Boulder, Colorado; Scout is in turn owned by Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners, a specialist investment manager focused exclusively on renewable energy infrastructure investment and operational asset management in the US, UK and Australia.
The Horse Heaven project has now been realigned and further developed to expand the overall concept of the wind farm to include solar and battery storage components. The idea behind this is to design the project as a so-called hybrid system. By combining individual system components – wind energy, solar energy and storage technology – the aim is to stabilize grids, increase efficiency and enhance the profitability of the overall project and make it more attractive for upcoming PPA negotiations.
Thanks in part to technological advances, the economic conditions are now in place to implement a wind-solar battery storage project in the tri-city metropolitan region, south of the cities of Kennewick, Richland and Pasco. The combination of energy generation from renewable sources and the storage of the green energy generated at one location makes it possible to ensure that electricity from renewable energy is produced at a much higher availability rate, regardless of individual wind and solar radiation. The Horse Heaven project will thus be able to supply a total of 850 MW from wind, solar, and battery power.
The project is expected to be brought online in two phases: Phase 1 is anticipated to begin operations no earlier than late-2022, while Phase 2 is expected to begin operations no earlier than late-2023.
“In cooperation with Scout, we look to optimize and maximize the project for the community and the region,” says Niclas Fritsch from the board of wpd wind projects Inc. while CEO Jeffrey Wagner adds: “By combining assets and advancing a hybrid project ‘Horse Heaven’ can bring low cost, flexible, renewable resources to the local grid, and reach another milestone for clean energy supply in the region.”
wpd AG develops and operates wind farms on- and offshore and solar parks. The German company is active in 25 countries worldwide and has realized wind energy projects with around 2,270 wind turbines and an output of 4,720 MW. The project pipeline comprises a total of 11,300 MW onshore, 7,400 MW offshore and 1,150 MW solar energy. wpd maintains US offices in Portland, OR and Mission Viejo, CA with a head office in Bremen, Germany.