Salt River Project (SRP) and NextEra Energy Resources on May 16 announced the opening of Pinal Central Solar Energy Center, a universal-scale, integrated solar plant equipped with a battery system.
The 20-megawatt solar photovoltaic generation facility, which SRP said is Arizona’s largest utility-scale solar energy center, is paired with a state-of-the-art, 10-MW lithium-ion battery storage system.
SRP noted that solar generation starts to ramp down in the late afternoon when its customers are typically using energy at the highest level. With the battery system, the stored energy will be available to customers during that critical time.
Pinal Central Solar Energy Center, comprised of 258,000 solar panels on 257 acres of land east of Casa Grande, represents the first of three grid-scale battery storage projects slated to connect to SRP’s system.
SRP will purchase all of the energy produced at the plant, which is owned and operated by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources.
The SRP Board has set a goal to meet 20 percent of SRP’s retail electricity requirements through sustainable resources by the year 2020.
Currently, SRP is on schedule to meet that goal by utilizing solar, wind, geothermal and hydro power and energy-efficiency measures. Additionally, SRP set a goal to reduce the amount of carbon emissions intensity by 33 percent by 2035.