BP and Sempra wind partnership features energy storage

A wind farm being jointly developed in Hawaii by BP and Sempra US Gas & Power will feature battery storage capable of storing 4 MWh renewable energy.

The Auwahi Wind farm is the fifth project developed under a strategic partnership between the two companies that includes more than 1,000 MW of wind capacity in operation or under construction. The 21-MW wind farm in southeastern Maui will utilize eight Siemens wind turbines and will be completed this year.

Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, a unit of Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE), will continue leading the development of Auwahi Wind and operate the project once construction is complete. This is the first project in Hawaii for BP. The stored electricity will help to regulate the intermittent wind power, providing a source of grid stability for Maui Electric Company. “Our companies share a commitment to building and operating the Auwahi Wind farm in a way that reflects Maui’s commitment to environmental protection. We look forward to providing a stable supply of clean power to the region and becoming a long-term partner with the local community,” Jim Sahagian, vice president of renewables for Sempra U.S. Gas & Power said in a statement.

The entire power output from the wind farm has been sold under a long-term power purchase agreement to the Maui Electric Company. Hawaii has a state renewable portfolio standard of 40% of electricity from clean sources by 2030. In January 2012, BP and Sempra U.S. Gas & Power expanded their investments to partner in 560 MW of wind generation for an estimated $1 bn.

In Kansas, the companies are building the 419 MW Flat Ridge 2 Wind Farm and are finalizing joint venture agreements for a 51 MW expansion project. In Pennsylvania, the 141 MW Mehoopany Wind Farm is in construction. Both the Kansas and Pennsylvania wind farms are expected to be in commercial operation by year-end 2012 and will be the largest wind projects ever constructed in their respective states. The companies are also equal partners on the 200 MW Fowler Ridge 2 Wind Farm in Indiana and the 250 MW Cedar Creek 2 Wind Farm located in northeastern Colorado.