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Image credit: esi-africa.com

Italian multinational energy company Enel has started the construction of its second solar + storage hybrid project in North America.

The 284MW Azure solar + storage hybrid project is being developed by Enel Green Power in the US state of Texas. The 284MW PV facility will be paired with an 81MW battery for operation as of summer 2021.

Enel’s first solar + storage project in North America, the Lily project, was announced in July.

The project is another milestone in the company’s commitment, announced in July, to invest in renewables-plus-storage hybrids in the United States.

Azure Sky solar + storage will comprise nearly 700,000 PV bifacial panels and is expected to generate over 586GWh each year.

The project will avoid the annual emission of over 386,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. The battery storage system will be capable of storing the power generated by the photovoltaic panels, while also providing services to enhance grid flexibility.

Retailer The Home Depot will procure the electricity generated from a 75MW portion of the Azure Sky solar project through a power purchase agreement (PPA).

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Through the PPA, energy The Home Depot will procure annually from the Azure Sky solar project is enough to power more than 150 of its stores. The agreement is The Home Depot’s largest renewable energy procurement and will enable the home improvement retailer to make substantial progress against the company’s new sustainability goal to produce or procure 335MW of renewable or alternative energy as outlined in the company’s recently released 2020 Responsibility Report.

Salvatore Bernabei, the newly-appointed CEO of Enel Green Power and head of Enel’s Global Power Generation business line, said: “Enel Green Power is serious about storage in North America. Coming just a few months after our announcement of the Lily project, Azure Sky’s groundbreaking is yet another step forward toward a sustainable future with flexible, hybrid plants that will generate renewable power while further stabilizing power grids.

“This project is testimony to the resilience of the energy transition fueled by innovation and a steady appetite for renewable energy from commercial customers.”

Ron Jarvis, chief sustainability officer of The Home Depot, adds; “Our collaboration with Enel Green Power strengthens our efforts to tap into sustainable energy that’s produced off-site.

“Not only does it expand our energy options and reduce our carbon footprint, but when The Home Depot procures or produces energy from renewable sources, we strengthen the business case for clean power alternatives.”

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Enel Green Power is pursuing an active growth strategy in the US and Canada and, as part of the Enel Group’s three-year strategic plan, is expected to install around 1GW of new utility-scale wind and solar projects per year across the two countries.