The world’s largest solar energy production and storage project has been launched

Edwards & Sanborn’s solar energy production and storage project in California is fully operational: the 875 MW DC solar photovoltaic system and 3287 MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) are the largest in the world.

The Edwards & Sanborn system covers an area of 1.8 square kilometers and is located in Kern County. It consists of 1.9 million photovoltaic modules from First Solar and a BESS energy storage system from LG Chem, Samsung and BYD with a total capacity of 3,287 MW. The new Edwards & Sanborn battery has outperformed the 750 MW/3000 MWh BESS installation in Moss Landing, California.

The contractor Mortenson started work on the project about three years ago, and the first phase, covering about half of the total capacity, was commissioned at the end of 2021.

The solar energy collection system has a capacity of 1300 MW. It serves the facilities of the city of San Jose, utilities Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric, the Clean Power Alliance aggregator, and the Starbucks coffee chain.

Most of the California BESS projects are designed for 4 hours, which meets the CAISO grid operator’s resource adequacy criteria. This system can operate longer if necessary, but the exact time is not specified.

Part of the project is located at Edwards Air Force Base, and, according to a Mortenson representative, the solar power plant system was built with the assistance of the US Department of Defense.

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