The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) today announced the acquisition of the 2 GW Bellefield project, which is currently in late-stage development, and is the largest permitted solar-plus-storage project in the United States. The project, located in Kern County, California, where AES1 already has significant operations, includes two phases, each with 500 MW of solar and up to 500 MW of four-hour duration battery energy storage. The project represents a significant step in accelerating California's commitment to achieving 100% carbon-free energy by 2045. This acquisition strengthens AES' position as a leader in providing renewable energy solutions to corporate customers under long-term contracts.
Phase one of the Bellefield project has a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to deliver hourly, carbon-free energy to an existing AES corporate customer. AES expects to contract up to an additional 1 GW of solar-plus-storage in phase two of the Bellefield project by the end of 2023. The two phases of the project were developed by the seller, Avantus, and are expected to come online in 2025 and 2026, respectively.
"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 Officer. "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, consolidating AES' position as one of the fastest growing renewables companies and a global leader in supplying clean energy to corporate customers."
AES has been recognized by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) as the top developer selling clean energy to corporations through PPAs in 2021 and 2022.
Over the last decade, AES has rapidly grown its portfolio of renewable energy projects, including 15 GW of installed capacity, a 12 GW backlog of projects with signed long-term contracts (including the first phase of the Bellefield project), and a global pipeline of 61 GW.
1 Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) is an investor in AES' clean energy business in the US with 25% ownership of the business' growth projects.