PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A renewable energy facility in Oregon that combines solar power, wind power and massive batteries to store the energy generated there will be the first utility-scale plant of its kind in North America.
Clean energy experts say the project, which can power 100,000 homes, addresses some key challenges facing the industry as the U.S. transitions away from fossil fuels.
The Associated Press reports the plant is located in a remote area three hours east of Portland.
The AP says massive lithium batteries will store up to 120 megawatt-hours of power generated by the 300-megawatt wind farms and 50-megawatt solar farm so it can be released to the electric grid on demand.
When it is running at its full output, the facility will reportedly produce more than half of the power that was generated by Oregon’s last coal plant.
Interest in on-site battery storage to even out production from solar or wind generation has soared, but the combination of wind, solar and storage batteries at one location promises to make the Wheatridge Renewable Energy Facility particularly efficient.
Central Oregon Daily News contributed to this report.