Energy Storage

SRP teams with AES on first standalone storage project

Salt River Project (SRP) on May 30 announced contract execution and the start of construction with the AES Corporation for SRP’s first standalone battery-based energy storage project.

The 10-megawatt, four-hour duration energy storage solution, to be supplied by Fluence (a Siemens and AES company), will provide peaking capacity that will inject power into the grid during high peak demand periods for SRP customers.

According to SRP, the project, to be built in Chandler, Ariz., was procured as part of an SRP initiative to learn more about grid-scale battery storage so that SRP will be better prepared to implement battery storage technology at an even larger scale in the future.

“Energy storage is already providing a wealth of services to central Arizona’s grid through other deployments, from supporting the growth of renewables to boosting reliability on transmission and distribution grids,” said Mike Hummel, SRP’s General Manager and Chief Executive Officer. This latest investment will add “much-needed efficiency and value for our more than 1 million electric consumers.”

SRP notes that under the 20-year agreement, AES will provide SRP with the battery-based energy storage system that will be charged by an SRP distribution substation. Fluence’s “Advancion” energy storage technology platform was selected to meet SRP’s need for an industrial-strength solution with high dependability, reliability and the ability to evolve over long-term operations, SRP noted.

SRP’s says the “new energy storage project marks the latest move to secure resources that can better serve enable the integration of more renewables for its electric service area. This comes at a time when Arizona is evaluating steps to transform its energy infrastructure, including proposals for both the largest energy storage target in the United States -- 3 gigawatts by 2030 -- and a ‘clean peak’ standard.”

The contract execution is the latest in a string of moves guiding SRP towards increased use of energy storage.

In April SRP unveiled a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for a grid-scale, integrated solar and battery project that will be located in Pinal County, Arizona. The utility also said it will purchase all the energy produced at the Pinal Central Energy Center, located near Coolidge, which will be constructed and owned by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources. NextEra Energy Resources is a unit of Florida-based investor-owned utility NextEra Energy.

In May SRP launched a residential storage incentive program to support the installation and use of battery storage systems for its residential customers. The battery storage incentive program will provide up to $1,800 ($150 per DC-kWh) for customers who purchase and install qualifying lithium ion battery technologies.

For the current storage project SRP notes that “as the largest provider of power to the greater Phoenix area, SRP is drawing on both AES’ experience developing energy storage projects across its platform and Fluence’s expertise in designing and deploying energy storage solutions in 16 countries. The Fluence team has a successful track record of deploying and operating energy storage for more than 10 years, including many of the first or largest systems in each market.”