(Bloomberg) -- AES Corp., an electric utility that’s been phasing out of coal and expanding in renewables, is acquiring a major solar plant under construction in California.
AES has acquired the Bellefield solar plant and storage project in Kern County from solar-power developer Avantus LLC, according to a statement reviewed by Bloomberg News. The 2-gigawatt project, which would provide enough electricity to power 1.5 million California homes, will start supplying the grid in 2025.
Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Last year’s Inflation Reduction Act provided incentives to help push the US toward producing 100% clean electricity by 2035. That has spurred developers to increasingly construct renewable projects with storage to reduce stress on America’s power grids while getting corporations to use zero-carbon energy around the clock.
“We have to run to meet those goals; it’s not going to be easy,” AES Chief Executive Officer Andrés Gluski said in an interview. The deal announced today is an “extremely significant” step in that direction, he said.
The Bellefield project already has locked in a 15-year contract with an AES corporate customer for the first phase, which includes 500 megawatts of solar generation plus a similarly sized, four-hour lithium ion battery, according to the company. AES expects to contract the remaining 1 gigawatt by the end of the year.
The Arlington, Virginia-based utility owner is accelerating its development of wind, solar and storage projects to drive growth. AES has said it aims to phase out coal by the end of 2025 as part of its long-term strategy.
Avantus, which used to be known as 8Minute Energy, was founded in 2009 by CEO Tom Buttgenbach, a former real estate developer and investment banker, according to its website.
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