The Permian Energy Centre is a 460MW combined photovoltaic (PV) solar and battery storage facility under construction in Andrews County, Texas, US. Danish energy company Ørsted is the owner and operator of the project.

The project was initially undertaken by Lincoln Clean Energy (LCE), a US-based company focussed on the development of onshore renewable assets in Texas. Ørsted became the owner and developer of the project by acquiring LCE in October 2018.

Ørsted started construction of the integrated solar and battery storage project after reaching a final investment decision (FID) in November 2019.

Scheduled for commissioning in 2021, the 460MW solar and battery storage facility will be capable of powering approximately 100,000 US households in the West Texas region.

The project is estimated to create approximately 300 jobs during peak construction.

Location and site details

The Permian Energy Centre solar and battery storage facility is being developed on a 1,456ha-site in the Andrews County of Texas, US.

The project site is located on a depleted oil field in the Permian Basin.

Permian Energy Centre make-up 

The Permian Energy Centre will comprise 420MW of PV solar installations and a 40MW battery system with one hour of storage.

The solar farm will be installed with approximately 1.3 million bifacial PV solar modules mounted on single-axis smart solar trackers provided by NEXTracker. The solar panels will be supplied by Chinese PV manufacturers JA Solar and Jinko Solar.

The solar trackers being used for the project are equipped with NEXTracker’s  TrueCapture™ intelligent, self-adjusting tracker control system.

Incorporating advanced sensor, weather forecasting and machine-learning technologies the TrueCapture™ control system can boost the energy output of a typical PV solar plant by approximately six per cent.

Power purchase agreement

ExxonMobil entered into a 12-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Lincoln Clean Energy (now Ørsted Onshore) for supplying 500MW of wind and solar power from the Permian Basin in November 2018. Out of this 500MW, 250MW will come from the Permian Energy Centre.

Contractors involved with the Permian solar power project

China’s JA Solar and Jinko Solar were selected to supply approximately 1.3 million solar panels for the 420MW solar farm of the Permian Energy Centre in November 2019.

NEXTracker was contracted by Ørsted Onshore for supplying the smart solar trackers equipped with its patented TrueCapture technology for the Permian solar power project in the same month.

Sargent & Lundy, an energy engineering and consulting company based in the US, was engaged as the Owner’s Engineer to provide professional services supporting the conceptual layout, design optimisation, tracker technology selection and the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) bid solicitation for the Permian solar project in 2019.

Ørsted in the US

The Permian Energy Centre in Texas will be Ørsted’s first-ever utility-scale solar and battery storage facility.

Ørsted (Previously Dong Energy) is the owner and operator of the 30MW Block Island wind farm, the US's first offshore wind farm that became operational in December 2016.

The Danish energy company is also engaged in several other offshore wind projects being developed in the country that include the 700MW Revolution Wind project, the 132MW South Fork wind farm, THE 880MW Sunrise wind farm, the 1.1GW Ocean Wind project, the 120MW Skipjack wind farm, as well as the 12MW pilot phase of the Coastal Virginia offshore wind (CVOW) project.

Ørsted also became the owner of five onshore wind farms in Texas after acquiring Lincoln Clean Energy in 2018. These wind farms include the 253MW Amazon wind farm, the 338MW Sage Draw wind farm, the 250MW Willow Springs wind farm, the 300MW Tahoka wind farm, and the 184MW Lockett wind farm. All of these onshore wind farms are currently operational.

The company’s two onshore wind projects currently under construction in the US are the 230MW Plum Creek wind farm in Wayne County, Nebraska which is scheduled for commissioning by the end of 2020, and the 103MW Willow Creek wind farm in Butte County, South Dakota which is expected to come online in mid-2021.