Arizona Public Service to add 850 MW of battery storage and 100 MW of solar
Energize Weekly, February 27, 2019
Arizona Public Service (APS) plans to add 850 megawatts (MW) of battery storage, one of the largest storage projects in the country, and 100 MW of solar generation by 2025.
The new storage is part of a broad plan to twin solar generation with storage, which includes adding 200 MW of storage to eight existing solar facilities in Maricopa and Yuma counties.
Phoenix-based APS, which serves 2.7 million customers in 11 of Arizona’s 15 counties, also announced earlier last year plans to build a 65-MW solar facility with a 50-MW storage adjacent to the Redhawk Power plant in Maricopa County.
The utility also plans to build an additional 500 MW of solar storage and stand-alone battery storage by 2025.
“Arizona is already a national leader in solar energy. The challenge is, no one has figured out how to stop the sun from setting at night,” Don Brandt, APS CEO, said in a statement. “As storage technology improves and declines in cost, we will increasingly be able to store the power of the sun cost-effectively to deliver when our customers need it.”
The utility said that it is already providing 50 percent of its electricity through renewable resources.
APS said that 450 MW of storage is planned to come online by 2021, with another 400 MW set to be in operation by 2025.
Invenergy has been chosen to install six of the battery systems at existing solar facilities by 2020. The two other solar facilities will receive storage systems in 2021.
APS said it expects to seek bids for the first 100 MW of the 500 MW in solar storage and stand-alone batteries—a solar storage facility—this summer.
The utility said that 150 MW of solar-fed battery storage will be used to meet part of the load during peak energy demand.
APS also signed a contract with Calpine for 463 MW of energy from a natural gas peaking plant. However, instead of a traditional 20-year power purchase agreement, the contact runs for seven years, “allowing APS the flexibility to take advantage of cleaner technologies in the future as they mature,” the company said.
As a result of these initiatives, APS said “customers will be able to use solar energy even after the sun goes down. Family dinners, prime-time television and bedtime reading lights will all be powered by a cleaner energy mix.”