Arizona’s Salt River Project adding massive 1GW energy storage system, replacing a giant coal power plant

A couple weeks ago the Salt River Project in Arizona announced a plan to replace a 2.25 GW Coal plant, the Navajo Generating Station, with a facility involving a large solar array (250 MW) and a large battery-based energy storage system. The storage system is sized at 1 GW and said to provide four hours of energy for 100,000 homes. A second project, the Storey Energy Center, will have an 88 MW solar+storage system.

The systems will be installed and running by the end of fiscal year 2025. One goal is to reduce emissions on the path to meeting Arizona state goals, which are a 60 percent reduction on carbon emissions per megawatt-hour by 2035, and 90 percent reduction by 2050.

The location is in Little Rainbow Valley south of Buckeye.

What’s pictured above is the Pinal Central Solar Energy Center, a 20 MW array near Casa Grande. It’s known that Arizona and other South-West states have huge potential for solar power. It is heartening that Arizona is looking to replace a blight on its landscape, the Navajo Generating Station, with a solar array.

November14,2019

SRP to Cut Emissions Through Major Solar + Battery Energy Purchase

The Sonoran Energy Center will be the largest solar-charged battery project in the state and the addition of these two plants will make SRP one of the largest investors in energy storage in the nation

As part of its commitment to reduce carbon emissions and invest in 1,000 megawatts of new utility-scale solar energy by 2025, Salt River Project today announced investments in two new solar energy + battery storage plants.

The Sonoran Energy Center will be the largest solar-charged battery project in the state and with the addition of these two plants will make SRP one of the largest investors in energy storage in the nation.

Combined, these plants will generate enough solar energy to power approximately 100,000 homes and will store excess energy in state-of-the-art battery storage systems that will be available to customers during the peak energy usage period when demand is at its highest.

The solar plants will also contribute to the SRP goal of adding 1,000 megawatts of new utility-scale, solar energy to its system by the end of fiscal year 2025 as well as SRP’s 2035 goal to reduce the amount of carbon emissions per megawatt-hour by more than 60 percent and by 90 percent in 2050.

With the closing of the Navajo Generating Station, the utility is well on its way to achieving these goals while continuing to aggressively pursuing renewable generation.

Sonoran Energy Center will be an approximately 250-megawatt system with the solar array charging a 1 gigawatt-hour energy storage system and will be built in Little Rainbow Valley, south of Buckeye.

The Storey Energy Center will be an approximately 88-megawatt solar and energy storage system and is scheduled to be built south of Coolidge.

“These integrated solar and storage plants will allow SRP to meet its summer peak demand, reduce carbon emissions, and provide clean energy to our customers while optimizing energy output using state-of-the-art battery technology,” said SRP General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Mike Hummel. “In addition, these plants will get SRP more than 60 percent toward our goal of adding 1,000 megawatts of new utility-scale, solar energy to its system by the end of fiscal year 2025.”

The projects were chosen as the result of an open “All-Source” solicitation for resources and will help serve SRP’s summer peak load. Both plants are scheduled to be online by June 2023 and will be owned and operated by subsidiaries of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC.

“We are pleased to help SRP serve its customers with more clean, affordable, renewable energy, combined with the flexibility of battery energy storage systems,” said Matt Handel, vice president of development for NextEra Energy Resources, the world’s largest generator of renewable energy. “These projects will also provide a significant economic boost for their local communities and for Arizona, including good jobs and millions of dollars in additional tax revenue.”

Highlights

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  • The Sonoran Energy Center and Storey Energy Center plants will contribute to the SRP goal of adding 1,000 megawatts of new utility-scale, solar energy to its system by the end of fiscal year 2025.
  • They will contribute to SRP’s 2035 goal to reduce the amount of generation carbon emissions per megawatt-hour by more than 60 percent and by 90 percent in 2050.
  • The Sonoran Energy Center is expected to be the largest solar-charged battery project in the state. The addition of these two plants will make SRP one of the largest investors in energy storage in the nation.
  • The two large solar energy + battery storage projects will provide emission-free solar plus large-scale energy storage.
  • The plants will generate enough solar energy to power approximately 100,000 homes.
  • Batteries will store excess energy that will be available to customers during the peak energy usage period when demand is at its highest.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

One Comment

  1. And Nevada looks at its cards and says to Arizona, “I’ll see your 1G storage”:
    https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2019/12/04/nevada-toys-with-1-gw-of-storage-by-2030/

    Of course, with California at the table, those guys are pikers — California already has 7.2G storage (in various forms): http://css.umich.edu/factsheets/us-grid-energy-storage-factsheet

    And heck, all of this before we have adequate means to go vehicle-to-grid, so we can use the put stored energy from our EV batteries on to the grid. But that means is right around the corner.

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