Equinor announces first battery storage projects in the United States

image is Battery Storage

The two projects have a combined total capacity of 110 megawatts (MW), providing a valuable source of energy security for the Texas grid once operational.

Equinor, an energy company focused on high-value growth in renewables with the ambition to be a leader in the energy transition, has approved its first two US battery storage projects following the acquisition of East Point Energy in summer 2022.

The two projects have a combined total capacity of 110 megawatts (MW), providing a valuable source of energy security for the Texas grid once operational. Construction has already begun on the Sunset Ridge Energy Center in Frio County, Texas; and the Citrus Flatts project in Cameron County, Texas is being prepared for implementation.

Boosting distribution networks in Texas

Sunset Ridge marks the first battery storage project for East Point Energy in Texas and will be connected to the distribution network of South Texas Electric Cooperative (STEC). The 10 megawatt (MW)/20 megawatt-hours (MWh) battery storage project will strengthen reliability and enable STEC to better serve its customers during peak demand. The commercial operation date for Sunset Ridge is expected in the second half of 2024.

Citrus Flatts will be a 100 MW/200 MWh battery storage project and will be connected to the transmission network American Electric Power. The project is expected to reach commercial operations in early 2026, Equinor said in a statement.

Once operational, Citrus Flatts and Sunset Ridge are planned to be commercialised by Equinor’s wholly owned energy trading house, Danske Commodities.

Sunset Ridge and Citrus Flatts will operate on a fully merchant basis in Texas’ ERCOT power market and are expected to deliver real base project returns towards the higher end of Equinor’s guided range for renewables of 4-8%, the company said.

“Energy storage is essential to balance the supply with the increasing demand for energy in Texas. We’re excited that our projects will support a more renewable, resilient, and affordable grid for the Cameron and Frio communities, and the ERCOT market at large,” said Andrew Foukal, CEO of East Point Energy.

East Point Energy, headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia, is focused on the origination, development, construction, and operation of energy storage projects. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Equinor and has a project pipeline of approximately 3 GW of battery storage projects across the United States.

Crucial role of battery storage for the transition

Battery Energy Storage Systems will play a critical role in the energy transition. The battery systems strengthen the grid by storing energy, often including surplus power generated from solar and wind, which is particularly useful during extreme weather events and power outages. By storing electricity and releasing it when energy demand is at its peak, these systems improve grid resiliency and increase affordability for ratepayers.

“We aim to build a robust and diversified battery storage portfolio with an opportunity to scale, by leveraging the capabilities of East Point Energy and maximizing synergies with Danske Commodities,” said Christian Lie Hansen, vice president of onshore renewables Americas and chair of the East Point Energy board.

“Our ownership in East Point Energy creates a solid basis for building a material and profitable battery storage position across attractive US power markets, delivering on our market-driven power producer strategy,” he added.

Equinor’s US renewable energy portfolio also includes offshore wind projects, Empire Wind, off the coast of New York, and Atlas Wind, off the coast of California. Equinor is also a partner in Bayou Bend CCS located in Southeast Texas and has been active in upstream oil and gas in the US since 2004.


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