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More Energy Storage to Be Added to Arizona's Grid

DW Keefer's picture
Journalist Independent Journalist and Analyst

DW Keefer is a Denver-based energy journalist who writes extensively for national and international publications on all forms of electric power generation, utility regulation, business models...

  • Member since 2017
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  • May 31, 2018
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Arizona's Salt River Project says that it and AES Corp. will build the utility's first standalone battery-based energy storage project.

The 10 megawatt, 40-megawatt-hour energy storage array, to be supplied by Fluence, will provide peaking capacity to the grid during high energy demand periods.

The project will be built in Chandler, Ariz., and was procured as part of an SRP effort to learn more about grid-scale battery storage. 

Under the 20-year agreement, AES will provide SRP with the battery-based energy storage system that will be charged by an SRP distribution substation. Fluence’s Advancion energy storage technology can deliver the energy equivalent to power about 2,400 homes in the greater Phoenix area for up to four hours.

The storage project is the latest in the state. In February, Arizona Public Service signed a 15-year power-purchase agreement with First Solar for peaking power from a 50 MW solar-powered battery.

As part of that project, First Solar would build and operate the facility. A 65-MW solar field would be used to charge the battery, storing energy when the sun is high in the sky and delivering it to customers as energy use is peaking.

The Arizona Public Service project adds to the three grid-scale batteries currently on APS’s system. Over the next 15 years, APS says it plans to adopt more than 500 MW of additional battery storage.

State and federal regulations could help to support additional storage deployment. In January 2018, Arizona utility regulator Andy Tobin proposed that  utilitiesdeploy 3,000 MW of energy storage by 2030. As part of his proposed "Clean Peak Standard" utilities would have to deliver an increasing portion of their renewable energy during peak demand hours. 

In February, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission voted to remove what it said were nationwide barriers to the participation of electric storage resources in the capacity, energy and ancillary services markets operated by Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators.

In a November 2016 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Obama-era FERC said that market rules designed for traditional generation resources can create barriers to entry for emerging technologies such as electric storage resources.

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