Developer Primergy Solar expects to begin construction of the giant $1.2bn Gemini PV-plus-storage hybrid energy project on federal Mojave Desert lands in the western US state of Nevada next quarter Recharge has learned.

The complex, set to be the country’s largest-ever solar development when it comes online, currently slated for “in late 2023 or early 2024”, will be made up of a 690MW capacity PV plant and a 1,416MWh (380MW) battery energy storage system (ESS).

From its site 53km (33 miles) northeast of Las Vegas, the project would be able to generate enough clean energy to power the city, the US’ 26th biggest conurbation and internationally renowned resort destination populated with mega casino-hotels, said Primergy, a portfolio company of Australia-based private equity fund Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners.

Primergy CEO Ty Daul called Gemini, which will sprawl over 26.3km2 (6,500 acres) of Department of Interior-managed land, “one of the most complex clean energy projects ever developed”, citing its size, scale, and innovative integration of PV with battery ESS.

The company said it has invested “significant resources” to minimise he project’s physical footprint where practicable to both preserve and protect local flora and fauna including the threatened desert tortoise that will be re-introduced back into their natural environment once construction is complete.

NV Energy, Nevada’s largest electric utility, which is owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate, will buy the project’s electric power over 25 years.

Last week, Primergy selected Kiewit Power Constructors as Gemini’s engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) partner and IHI Terrasun as the battery ESS integrator.

“The Gemini project is extraordinary in its scope and scale, and we are excited to joint Primergy in significantly expanding the availability of clean energy,” said Dave Flickinger, executive vice president of Kiewit Energy. Maxeon Solar Technologies, spun off from SunPower in 2020, will provide the bifacial solar modules from a US plant.