Ørsted has taken a final investment decision on its largest onshore project to date, the 518 MW hybrid wind and solar PV project, Helena Energy Center, with an expected operational date in the first half of 2022.
The project expands Ørsted’s onshore portfolio to Bee County, South Texas. The Helena Energy Center consists of 268 MW Helena Wind and 250 MWAC solar PV Sparta Solar, and has secured contracts with multiple corporate offtakers including Henkel for a portion of the wind generation and Target for a portion of the solar generation.
As part of the Helena Energy Center project, Ørsted is partnering with the Texas Native Seeds Program, a non-profit research and development program of Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M – Kingsville, to research the optimal seed mix and planting process to grow native grasses under a portion of the solar project. Potential benefits include lower operational costs, enhanced biodiversity to attract pollinators, lower erosion, and production improvements by lowering the ambient temperature.
The project takes Ørsted’s onshore operational and under construction portfolio to 4 GW, a portfolio that is both geographically and technologically diverse, spanning Texas, the Midwest, and Southeast US across wind, solar, and storage.