Arlington’s AES acquires largest planned solar power and storage project in US

Photovoltaic farm as a renewable energy source. Pure energy in the countryside.(Getty Images/iStockphoto/Shaiith)
Arlington, Virginia-based global utility owner AES Corp has acquired a major solar power project under construction in California, as it moves more of its business to renewable energy.

AES acquired the 2-gigawatt Bellefield project in Kern County, California, from developer Avantus LLC for an undisclosed sum.

It calls the Bellefield project the largest solar-plus-storage project currently under construction in the country. It is expected to come online in phases from 2025 to 2026, with enough electricity generation capacity to power 1.5 million California homes, according to Bloomberg.

AES said it has a 15-year power purchase contract with an unnamed AES corporate customer for phase one, and expects to contract the phase two capacity by the end of this year.

Bellefield is a combination solar collecting farm and lithium-ion battery power storage facility.

AES, which has been shifting from its portfolio of coal-fired plants around the globe to renewable energy projects, said its backlog for renewable energy is now more than 12 gigawatts, a growth of more than 80% from what is currently online.

The vast majority of its projects in the works will be online over the next two years, AES said.

AES had $12.6 billion in revenue last year, ranking it as the 13th-largest publicly-traded company headquartered in the D.C. region. It ranks No. 327 on the 2023 Fortune 500 list, making it one of 19 companies with headquarters in the D.C. area on the Fortune 500.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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