Arizona Utility To Develop Roughly 1GW of Solar, Storage

Projects are among the largest ever in the US.

  • The authority has announced that it will by 2025 construct 500MW of solar and stand-alone battery storage by 2025.
  • The plan also includes the addition of 150MW of solar-fueled battery storage to meet demand as usage peaks.
  • US energy storage deployments according Wood Mackinsey are slated to increase to roughly 1.7 GW in 2020 from 338MW in 2018

Arizona Public Service (APS) intends to make almost 1GW of clean power available to its customers.

The authority has announced that it will by 2025 construct 500MW of solar and stand-alone battery storage by 2025, as well as upgrade its existing large-scale solar plants with 200MW of storage. APS’ plan also includes the addition of 150MW of solar-fueled battery storage to meet demand as usage peaks. AES and Invenergy will provide a 100MW and a 50MW battery, respectively.

An RFP for the 500MW project is anticipated this summer. An Invenergy-led team will by 2020 install six of eight battery systems for the 200MW upgrade at solar plans in Maricopa and Yuma Counties. The remaining two will be installed by 2021.

Notably, APS is currently partnering with First Solar to construct a facility that includes a 65MW battery by 2021. APS has signed a 15-year power-purchase agreement with First Solar that will enable APS to use the stored battery power when energy use is at its peak.

APS Chairman and CEO Don Brandt in a statement noted that improvements in technology, as well as reductions in cost will enable the utility to make use of battery storage.

Battery prices fell by as much as 32% between 2015 and 2018, according to a report from Wood Mackinsey. Moreover, balance of system (BOS) costs decreased by as much as 24%.

The shift follows a statewide battle to increase the amount of renewable energy currently generated by utilities above the current 15% limit. Arizona voters in November voted against Proposition 127, which would have raised the limit to 50% by 2030 as well as increased costs for customers.

APS is not the only utility intent on maximizing its battery storage capabilities.

California’s Pacific Gas & Electric in November got regulatory approval to develop a roughly 567.5MW battery storage project in south of the San Francisco Bay. Moreover, the Hawaii Electric Company is currently awaiting the regulatory go-ahead to add 262MW of solar and 1,048MWh of storage that will be distributed over three islands.

US energy storage deployments according Wood Mackinsey are slated to increase to roughly 1.7 GW in 2020 from 338MW in 2018. The increase is due to a significant front-of-meter pipeline expected to come online in 2020.

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