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Energy storage adds to new US generating capacity built, announced in November

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Energy storage adds to new US generating capacity built, announced in November

Although overall generation capacity additions fell month to month, two energy storage projects were among the capacity that was either finished or announced in November.

Total capacity completed in November was 1,030 MW, roughly 36% of the 2,858 MW added in October, data from S&P Global Market Intelligence shows. The November additions included the 20-MW Marengo Energy Battery Storage Project in McHenry County, Ill. Only one project was announced last month: the proposed 303-MW Bakeoven Solar Project in Oregon, which includes 100 MW of storage capacity. S&P Global Market Intelligence tracks projects larger than 1 MW, and records show a 1-MW Parkview Battery Energy Storage System in Michigan that came on line in September, but no storage projects built or announced in October.

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Completed projects

After Duke Energy Corp. subsidiary Duke Energy Florida LLC brought half of the 1,640-MW Crystal River CC online in October, the remaining 820 MW was completed in November. In addition, the $350 million, 180-MW Patriot Wind Project (Petronilla), owned by NRG Renew, started up in Nueces County, Texas, near Corpus Christi.

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The number of solar farms completed in November fell month-to-month. Three solar projects, totaling 11 MW, began operating in November compared to seven projects totaling 51 MW in October. The 11 MW included two projects located in Hampden County, Mass.: the 4-MW Springfield Solar Project (Roosevelt Avenue) owned by Eversource Energy subsidiary NSTAR Electric Co. and the 4-MW GSPP Terawatt Westfield project, owned by Connecticut-based developer Green Street Power Partners LLC. Half of the capacity at the 6-MW Forbes Street Landfill Solar Project in Providence County, R.I., came online. The landfill solar project sells its output to National Grid PLC utility Narragansett Electric Co., which operates under the National Grid name, and is co-owned by DESRI V LLC, CME North American Merchant Energy LLC and Hecate Energy.

Announced projects

On Nov. 2, the Oregon Department of Energy received a site permit application from Bakeoven Solar LLC, the developer of the Bakeoven Solar Project, and opened a public comment period from Nov. 28 through Jan. 11, 2019. The project is owned by Avangrid Inc., whose majority owner is Iberdrola SA.

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Miss. coal plant retired ahead of conversion

A total of 577 MW of capacity retired last month, with the largest amount from the 400-MW R.D. Morrow coal plant in Mississippi. Cooperative Energy, an 11-member cooperative of distribution utilities, decided earlier this year to convert the plant, which started operating in 1978, to natural gas-fired, combined-cycle operation by 2023.

Small oil, gas and biomass facilities also closed including two biomass plants totaling 87 MW in Minnesota and Maine. The larger of the two was the 55-MW Fibrominn Biomass Power Plant (Benson) in Swift County, Minn. Northern States Power Co. - Minnesota, which owns Fibrominn and is a subsidiary of Xcel Energy Inc., closed the plant after its power contract expired in June in part because the utility noted cheaper wholesale power prices.

In Michigan, four gas turbines closed down including three at the Gaylord plant and the single 10-MW Straits unit, all built in the late 1960s. All four turbines were regulated units owned by CMS Energy Corp. utility Consumers Energy Co.

Xcel Energy's and CMS Energy's retirements support the companies' respective plans to meet aggressive targets to cut carbon dioxide emissions. Earlier in December, Xcel Energy set a goal to decarbonize its power plant fleet by 2050. In February, CMS Energy agreed to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 80% by 2040.

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