Chem-Energy, a petroleum products company, is planning a $1 billion investment in solar and battery plant facilities in Central Texas. Beginning in Spring 2022, two facilities with a combined capacity of 400 MW/800 MWh of battery storage and 600 MW of solar power generation will be constructed in Caldwell County. The first plant, which is being built on 3,511 acres in Uhland, is anticipated to open in 2023.

The installations will offer ERCOT and the Texas grid with renewable energy and grid stability. To support the projects, 400 permanent staff will be hired in the first year. The country’s first standardised solar PV and battery storage training centre will be housed at one of the buildings.

The solar facilities will be designed and built by Mortenson Construction, with KORE Power providing high energy density NMC batteries for power storage and Invenergy Services providing back-office administrative, energy asset management, and operations and maintenance support. Project management, technical assistance, and support will be provided by Soundgrid Partners.

REGlobal’s Views: The recent instances of grid failures and blackouts in Texas due to drastic weather events highlighted the importance of having stable grids. Energy storage systems can help address the intermittency of solar power generation and provide energy when solar is unavailable thereby ensuring grid stability. Such systems are likely to gain more traction throughout the state in the coming months.