Enel Green Power (EGP) has broken ground on its Azure Sky PV-plus-storage project in the US state of Texas, with one-third of the 284MW arrayâ€™s electricity production being sold by the Italian developer to American home improvement group Home Depot.
Azure Sky, EGPâ€™s second solar development in the US after the 181MW Lily announced in July, will hive off 75MW of electricity to the DYI chain, enough to power some 150 of its box-stores.
â€śEGP is serious about storage in North America,â€ť said Salvatore Bernabei, head of global power generation. â€śComing weeks after our announcement of the Lily project, Azure Skyâ€™s groundbreaking is yet another step forward toward a sustainable future with flexible, hybrid plants that will generate renewable power alongside stabilizing power grids.
â€śThis project is testimony to the resilience of the energy transition fueled by innovation and a steady appetite for renewable energy from commercial customers.â€ť
Home Depot said its deal with EGP, the retailerâ€™s largest renewable corporate power purchase agreement to-date, would help it make â€śsubstantial progressâ€ť toward the companyâ€™s sustainability goal of procuring 335MW of renewable energy as outlined in its 2020 Responsibility Report.
â€śOur collaboration with EGP strengthens our efforts to tap into sustainable energy thatâ€™s produced off-site,â€ť said Ron Jarvis, Home Depotâ€™s chief sustainability office.
â€śNot only does it expand our energy options and reduce our carbon footprint, but when Home Depot procures or produces energy from renewable sources, we strengthen the business case for clean power such alternatives.â€ť
Built around latest-generation bifacial PV panels, Azure Sky, located near Dallas-Forth Worth, is expected to generate over 586GWh a year, delivering to the grid and charging the solar-farmâ€™s on-site battery, which is capable of storing up to 116MWh at a time.
EGP said the hybrid plant is designed around the integration of â€śregenerative agriculture and circular economy principlesâ€ť, and would use â€śa native and pollinator-friendly seed mixâ€ť to cultivate a habitat with both â€śoperational efficiency and ecosystem services in the form of providing monarch butterflies [and] honey bees accessâ€ť.
The development is pursuing an â€śactive growthâ€ť strategy in North American, with plans to install around 1GW of wind and solar projects annually on the continent as part of a three-year strategic campaign.
Along with the Azure Sky and Lily projects, EGPâ€™s regional wind portfolio includes the 236.5MW White Cloud in Missouri, the 299MW Aurora in North Dakota, and a 199MW expansion of the Cimarron Bend complex in Kansas.