Arizona public power utility Salt River Project (SRP) has signed a contract with a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources to add a 100-megawatt (MW) battery storage system to the existing 100-MW solar plant, Saint Solar, located in Coolidge, Ariz., which is currently serving SRP customers.
The 100-MW battery, expected to be operational in June 2023, will provide four hours of storage.
Negotiation of the contract began prior to SRP’s issuance of its current all-source request for proposals (RFP) and does not affect the amount of generation SRP is seeking through that process.
The Saint Solar plant is owned and operated by a subsidiary of investor-owned NextEra Energy Resources.
SRP selected the plant for the first phase of its sustainable energy offering, through which SRP delivers solar energy to 11 of its largest business customers. The addition of battery storage at the Saint Solar plant will not reduce the amount of solar energy that those customers receive.
Under the terms of the agreement, NextEra Analytics, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, will provide the company’s proprietary Optos software platform to SRP for three years. Optos is an end-to-end energy management solution using artificial intelligence. It leverages data from nearly 5 gigawatts of renewable energy assets owned and operated by NextEra Energy Resources and will help SRP optimize its renewable energy use.
SRP has contracted with NextEra Energy Resources for additional Arizona-based solar and battery storage projects including the Sonoran Energy Center, which will be the largest solar-charged battery project in the state.
Sonoran Energy Center will be an approximately 260-MW solar system with the ability to charge a 1 gigawatt-hour energy storage system, and it will be built south of Buckeye.
Additionally, SRP contracted for the output from an 88-MW solar and battery storage system called the Storey Energy Center to be built in the City of Coolidge. Both projects will be operated by subsidiaries of NextEra Energy Resources and are scheduled to become operational in June 2023.
SRP has also recently placed into service a 25-MW battery storage facility at its Bolster Substation, which is adjacent to its Agua Fria Generating Station, located in Peoria. The battery system consists of a series of Tesla Megapacks that are connected directly to SRP’s energy grid. SRP is also contracted for output from the Pinal Central Energy Center, a 20-MW solar plant paired with a 10-MW solar-battery system located in Pinal County, and the Dorman battery storage system, which is a 10-MW standalone battery storage system located in Chandler.
With these new projects underway, SRP’s total commitment to battery storage will reach nearly 500 MW by 2023 – one of the largest investments in batteries in the United States, it said.