Ørsted has taken a Final Investment Decision on its largest onshore project to date, the 518 MW hybrid wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) project, Helena Energy Center, with an expected operational date in the first half of 2022.
The project expands Ørsted's onshore portfolio to Bee County, South Texas, US. The hybrid nature of the project allows Ørsted to maximise the use of the excellent location, in a highly liquid market, on a primary transmission import path into the San Antonio load centre and in an area characterised by strong coastal winds and sunshine.
The Helena Energy Center consists of 268 MW Helena Wind and 250 MWAC solar PV Sparta Solar, and has secured contracts with multiple corporate offtakers including Henkel for a portion of the wind generation and Target for a portion of the solar generation.
As part of the Helena Energy Center project, Ørsted is partnering with the Texas Native Seeds Program, a non-profit research and development programme of Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M - Kingsville, to research the optimal seed mix and planting process to grow native grasses under a portion of the solar project. Potential benefits include lower operational costs, enhanced biodiversity to attract pollinators, lower erosion, and production improvements by lowering the ambient temperature.
Ørsted is building at scale and ranked among the top five US constructors in terms of capacity additions in 2020. The project takes Ørsted's onshore operational and under construction portfolio to 4 GW, a portfolio that is both geographically and technologically diverse, spanning Texas, the Midwest, and Southeast US across wind, solar, and storage.
With the significant portfolio growth over the coming years, Ørsted's US energy trading team, up to now part of the company's Markets business unit, has been integrated into Ørsted's onshore business, strengthening the ability for Ørsted to manage risk more dynamically. Ben Pratt has been appointed to lead the Chicago-based team and joins the Onshore management team which continues to be headed by Onshore CEO Declan Flanagan.
Previously, Ben served as Senior Managing Director with Uniper Global Commodities (formerly E.On), and has extensive background managing portfolio risk across the entire power market complex.
For more news and technical articles from the global renewable industry, read the latest issue of Energy Global magazine.
The Spring issue of Energy Global features a varied spectrum of in-depth technical articles detailing recent projects, future projections, and technological advancements in the renewables sector, from companies including GlobalData, Atlas Copco, Watlow, QED Naval, TRACTO, AB Energy, and more.
Don’t forget to sign up to receive future digital issues of Energy Global for free here.
Read the article online at: https://www.energyglobal.com/special-reports/30032021/rsted-to-construct-wind-and-solar-project-in-texas/