• Tech Tech

Newly completed solar and battery project, the largest of its kind in the U.S., comes online: ‘This is a pretty big deal’

“This facility is a transformational project in the industry and is providing resiliency to the grid.”

"This facility is a transformational project in the industry and is providing resiliency to the grid."

Photo Credit: Mortenson

The largest solar and battery storage project in the United States has just come online

The 4,660-acre project — named Edwards & Sanborn and developed, owned, and operated by Terra-Gen — is located in the Mojave desert in Kern County, California. It consists of 875 megawatts (MW) of solar and 3,320 megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy storage, reports Electrek.

In total, the massive Edwards & Sanborn consists of 1.9 million First Solar PV panels, 120,720 LG Chem, Samsung, and BYD long-duration energy storage batteries, and 400 miles of wire.

In addition to being the United States’ new largest solar and battery project, it holds another title. The project’s contractor, Mortensen, says that it is the largest public-private partnership that the U.S. Air Force has ever taken part in, as a section of the land it is on belongs to the Air Force, per Electrek.

“Now fully operational, this facility is a transformational project in the industry and is providing resiliency to the grid,” Brian Gorda, vice president of engineering at Terra-Gen, said.

Now that it is online, Edwards & Sanborn is providing clean, renewable power to the City of San Jose, Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric Co., and the Clean Power Alliance, among others.

Compared to other U.S. states, California has set aggressive goals for transitioning to clean energy. The state has an official goal of cutting planet-overheating pollution to 40% below 1990s levels by 2030 and relying on 100% renewable energy by 2045. 

To that end, it also recently announced that it was closing loopholes for new developments that rely on natural gas. In addition, the state’s first offshore wind farm recently came online.

“This is a pretty big deal and should be big for SoCal. Keep it coming!” wrote one Electrek commenter.

“In aggregate, these projects are going to make a huge difference.  I hope all the big power companies in the US have these systems in mind. Generating and storing energy is much more versatile than generating alone,” wrote another.

“Very impressive,” a third chimed in. “Apparently Tesla is not the only company that makes battery storage products. The competition is coming.”

Join our free newsletter for weekly updates on the coolest innovations improving our lives and saving our planet.

Cool Divider