Innergex has awarded Mitsubishi Power an order for two utility-scale battery energy storage system (BESS) projects for its Emerald storage solution totalling 425 megawatt-hours (“MWh”) in the Atacama desert of Northern Chile. These projects will be colocated with existing solar photovoltaic facilities and shift the renewable energy to hours of greater need by storing solar energy during the day and dispatching at night.

The five-hour energy duration BESS projects are among the first colocated solar and storage projects in Chile and are Mitsubishi Power’s first BESS projects in South America. Innergex’s 68 megawatt (“MW”) Salvador solar photovoltaic facility will add 50 MW/250 MWh of storage capacity and its 50.6 MW San Andrés solar photovoltaic facility will add 35 MW/175 MWh of storage capacity. Both BESS projects are scheduled to come online in 2023 and will help support Chile’s national decarbonisation goals to achieve 80% clean electricity by 2030 and 100% by 2050.

The two BESS projects combined represent an investment of US$128.5 million (CAN$ 166.6 million). The projects will benefit from capacity payments and additionally will sell energy on the merchant market enabling the facilities to serve the market upon energy demand. Chile acknowledges in their Energy Roadmap for 2050 the importance of energy storage and are currently developing new and more advanced capacity regulations that will further recognise the valuable contribution of battery energy storage systems to grid reliability and compensate them accordingly. These capacity payments represent an important component of BESS’ overall revenue stream.

Salvador and San Andrés are Innergex’s first utility-scale BESS projects in Chile and deliver on their mission to build a better world with renewable energy. The projects will also provide grid resiliency to the country’s existing transmission and distribution infrastructure.

Michel Letellier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Innergex, said, “Chile continues to be an attractive market for Innergex, and we are pleased to pursue our expansion by now adding battery energy storage systems to our existing assets. The combination of hydro, wind, solar and battery energy storage systems enables Innergex to meet customer needs at any time of the day and offer 24/7 energy supply to industrial customers through its portfolio of projects. In addition, the capacity payments for energy storage enable these projects to benefit from stable and predictable revenues to which are added the revenues derived from the merchant market, making these projects viable.”

Both projects will employ Mitsubishi Power’s Emerald Integrated Plant Controller, which is an Energy Management System (“EMS”) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (“SCADA”) system with real-time BESS operation and a monitoring/supervisory control platform. Mitsubishi Power leverages its decades of technology monitoring and diagnostics to enable predictive maintenance, maximise reliability, and unlock operational insights. Both projects use lithium iron phosphate (“LFP”) battery chemistry for added physical safety. Compared with other chemistries, LFP provides longer life and superior thermal and chemical stability while meeting UL 9540 and UL 9540A safety standards.

Mitsubishi Power has more than 1.7 gigawatt-hours (“GWh”) of projects in deployment globally with utility-scale BESS solutions that increase renewable reliability, provide frequency stabilisation, and reduce energy costs.

Tom Cornell, Senior Vice President, Energy Storage Solutions, Mitsubishi Power Americas, said, “As decarbonisation initiatives accelerate and renewable generation expands, battery energy storage is key to achieving net-zero. We are excited to bring our technology to South America and grow our business beyond North America. The coupling of renewables and Mitsubishi Power’s Emerald storage solutions enables a better, smarter and more resilient energy future for our customers in Chile and around the globe.”

Image source: Courtesy of Innergex

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