Hybrid Power Plants: Status of Installed and Proposed Projects

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Policy Brief

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As battery prices fall and wind and solar generation rises, power plant developers are increasingly combining wind and solar projects with on-site batteries, creating “hybrid” power plants. But hybrid or co-located plants have been part of the U.S. electricity mix for decades, with widely ranging configurations that extend beyond pairing a generator with a battery. This new summary tracks and maps existing hybrid and co-located plants across the United States while also synthesizing data from generation interconnection queues to illustrate developer interest in the next wave of plants. The scope is inclusive of co-located hybrid plants that pair two or more generators and/or that pair generation with storage at a single point of interconnection, and also full hybrids that feature co-location and co-control. The focus is on larger, 1 MW+ systems: smaller (often behind-the-meter) projects are also increasingly common, but are not included in the data synthesis. Based in part on EIA Form 860 data, there were at least 125 co-located hybrid plants (>1 MW) already operating across the United States at the end of 2019, totaling over 14 GW of aggregate capacity. Some of the most common configurations include wind+storage (13 projects, 1,290 MW wind, 184 MW storage), PV+storage (40 projects, 882 MW PV, 169 MW storage), and fossil+storage (10 projects, 2,414 MW fossil, 91 MW storage). Data from interconnection queues demonstrates the considerable commercial interest that exists in hybrid power plants, especially solar co-located with storage. By the end of 2019, there were at least 367 GW of solar plants in the nation’s queues; 102 GW (~28%) of this capacity was proposed as a hybrid, most typically pairing PV with battery storage. For wind, 225 GW of capacity sat in the queues, with 11 GW (~5%) proposed as a hybrid, again most-often pairing wind with storage. The proposed solar+storage plants are located throughout the United States, but with California and the non-ISO West being the most prominent areas of commercial interest. Proposed wind+storage and standalone storage plants also center to a degree on these regions of the country.

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This briefing is also accompanied by two data visualizations, one focused on online projects and the other on those in interconnection queues.

The most recent edition of this report is always available at: https://emp.lbl.gov/hybrid.


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