With its ongoing cost declines solar is becoming increasingly attractive to power companies, including those who traditionally have been dependent on other resources.
Yesterday Avangrid (formerly known as Iberdrola USA) casually dropped in its Q3 results call that it has added 300 MW of solar to its project development pipeline, along with 600 MW of wind. These 900 MW of projects are spread across seven states in the Northeast, Midwest and West, and the company did not differentiate locations for solar and wind assets.
It’s also not clear what stage these projects are in. Avangrid estimates a 1.8 GW renewable energy project portfolio with power contracts starting from 2017 through 2020, but again has not differentiated wind and solar.
So far the company has only dipped its toes into photovoltaics. Compared to the multiple GW of wind that Avangrid has deployed, so far it has only two completed solar assets – a 30 MW plant in Colorado and a 20 MW in Arizona. The company also claims the 56 MW Gala Solar project in Oregon, which local contractor Moss is currently building with SunPower and which is expected to be online by the end of the year.
Avangrid is far from the only power company jumping on the solar bandwagon. One of the most eye-catching other examples is Florida Power & Light, which has committed to building 600 MW of solar alone by March after opposing solar proliferation in the Sunshine State as late as August 2017.
Update: This article has been substantially changed since its initial publication. An earlier version identified several wind projects as solar projects, requiring a re-write. We regret the error.