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2018-03-31. Batteries included: Even huge Saudi solar farm will use them.

posted Apr 3, 2018, 10:24 PM by Alan Gould
By Brian Eckhouse and Mark Chediak, San Francisco Chronicle-SF Gate. For GSS Energy Use chapter 10. Excerpt: The world’s biggest-ever solar project — a $200 billion venture in Saudi Arabia — comes with a “batteries included” sticker that signals a major shift for the industry. SoftBank Group has partnered with the oil-rich Saudis to plan massive networks of photovoltaic panels across the sun-drenched desert kingdom. The project is 100 times larger than any other proposed in the world and features plans to store electricity for use when then sun isn’t shining with the biggest utility-scale battery ever made. The daytime-only nature of solar power has limited its growth globally partly because the cost of batteries was so high. Utilities that get electricity from big solar farms still rely on natural gas-fired backup generators to keep the lights on around the clock. But surging battery supplies to feed electric-car demand have sent prices plunging, and solar developers from California to China are adding storage to projects like never before. “The future is pretty much hybrid facilities,’’ said Martin Hermann, the CEO of 8minutenergy Renewables, a U.S. company that’s expecting to include batteries in the vast majority of the 7.5 gigawatts of solar projects it’s developing.... https://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Batteries-included-Even-huge-Saudi-solar-farm-12795344.php