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Invenergy eyes 200-MW solar farm in Wisconsin, possibly backed by batteries

An affiliate of Invenergy LLC is planning to pitch an up to 200-MW solar farm on 1,400 acres in Kenosha County, Wis., possibly backed by a 50-MW array of lithium-ion batteries, the company disclosed in an engineering plan filed with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in early March.

State law required Invenergy to submit the engineering plan for its Paris Solar Farm at least 60 days ahead of filing an application with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin "to construct and place in utility service" the facility, according to the document. The company said it plans to file its proposal with state energy regulators in April.

The system, using crystalline solar panels mounted on sun trackers, would be larger than any solar facility or battery system currently operating in the state, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data, but is one of several projects of 100 MW or larger currently under development.

Differentiating it from other projects proposed, an energy storage system "may be included" with the Paris Solar Farm to provide "frequency response, capacity on demand, generation smoothing, shifting and firming," the company said. It cited a 50-MW array with one to four hours of storage capacity as a "representative system size." The project would also include construction of a new substation and a short 138-kV transmission line.

The company did not immediately respond to a message on March 15 seeking additional details about the proposal.

The Chicago-headquartered independent power producer also is developing the 300-MW Badger Hollow Solar Farm in Iowa County, Wis. Wisconsin Public Service Corp., a subsidiary of WEC Energy Group Inc., plans to purchase a 100-MW block of generation from the facility, as well as 100 MW from NextEra Energy Inc.'s planned 150-MW Two Creeks Solar Project in Manitowoc County, Wis.

NextEra has a 20-year power purchase agreement with WPPI Energy for the output from its 100-MW Point Beach Solar Energy Center, also in Manitowoc County, while Invenergy is developing the 250-MW Rock - Walworth Solar Farm in Walworth County.