Arizona Public Service (APS) to bring hundreds of MW in solar energy storage to the desert

PV MagazineApril 3, 2019176

Summary:

Arizona Public Service plans to build an additional 500 megawatts of solar storage and stand-alone battery storage by 2025. The first project will be a 100-megawatt solar-storage plant, followed by a 50-megawatt battery by Invenergy. 

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What goes great with a gigawatt of renewable energy? That’s easy, battery storage for backup and flexibility. That’s also exactly what’s happening in Arizona, as Arizona Public Service (APS) announced today a request for proposals (RFP) to bring hundreds of MW in capacity of energy storage to both new and existing solar facilities.

Like aging starlets, APS’s Chino Valley (19 MW) and Red Rock (40 MW) solar projects will be getting a face lift, though instead of silicon, they will come from, presumably, lithium-ion batteries. While APS has not yet released the exact capacity of the batteries to be partnered with these projects, the battery capacities that have been revealed at other projects all match the nameplate capacities of the projects they’re coupled to, so it would be a bit surprising if that were not the case with these two. APS anticipates both of these projects to be completed by 2021. The two projects are also the final step of APS’ February announcement that the company would be developing 200 MW of battery storage to be paired with existing solar facilities.

While new storage is nice, new solar + storage is even better and APS is on that case, too. In the same RFP, the utility is soliciting 500 MW of new solar + storage projects and stand-alone battery storage by 2025. APS will kick off this development tidal wave with an ambitious undergoing, and is seeking developers for a solar + storage project for a 100 MW facility to be paired with a 100 MW battery.

This RFP comes as part of a bigger goal by APS to add close to 1 GW of clean-energy projects by the summer of 2025. Now, while the company has only stated 500 MW of that development to be solar for sure, it’s likely that most of the rest would be solar as well. This is because nuclear wouldn’t be deployed at that scale, Arizona’s geography doesn’t suit hydro or geothermal and solar is generally cheaper than wind in the state.

As of today, the website for bidder registration and RFP information is live and you can check it out here.

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