AES acquires 2GW solar project in California
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AES acquires 2GW solar project in California

Avantus Solar Farm California .png

AES Corporation has acquired the 2GW Bellefield project, the largest solar-plus-storage development in the US, from Avantus.

The late-stage development project includes two phases, each comprising 500MW of solar capacity and 500MW of four-hour battery storage, expected to be operational by 2025 and 2026, respectively.

Output from phase one of the project located in Kern County is sold under a 15-year PPA to an existing corporate customer of AES, and the additional 1GW of solar-plus-storage is expected to be contracted by the end of 2023. The project will provide enough energy for 1.5 million California homes.

"This significant acquisition accelerates AES' deployment of unique renewable energy solutions to our key corporate clients in the California market," said Andrés Gluski, AES president and chief executive. "With the addition of Bellefield phase one, our signed PPA backlog grows to more than 12 GW, which represents growth of more than 80% from our current installed renewable generation fleet. The vast majority of this backlog is expected to come online over the next two years."

Both phases of the Bellefield project were developed by Avantus, who currently owns an additional 1.2GW of solar projects in Kern County alone, and 42GW of solar across the country.

AES has been expanding its renewable portfolio while phasing out of coal and gas usage. In May, the Arlington, Virginia-based electric utility outlined plans to triple its renewables capacity by adding 25 to 30 gigawatts of solar, wind and energy storage across the globe by 2027.

AES owns additional solar projects in Kern County, including Raceway, a 125MW and 80MW solar-plus-storage project, in addition to 1.5 GW of clean energy operations across California.

Onpeak Capital LLC served as the exclusive financial advisor and Foley & Lardner LLP served as legal counsel for Avantus, and Greenberg Traurig LLP served as legal counsel for AES.

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