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Arizona utility company unveils new clean-energy initiative

(KTAR News/Ali Vetnar)

PHOENIX — An Arizona public utility unveiled a new clean-energy initiative Thursday that would allow unused solar energy to be stored, saved for later and accessed after dark.

The Arizona Public Service will add storage to an existing fleet of solar power plants to deliver cleaner energy to customers at times of peak energy use.

It is one of the largest battery storage initiatives in the country.

“APS is fifth in the nation for solar produced and the state of Arizona is second in the nation – so we’ve got a lot of solar generated during the day and then it’s going to waste,” Scott Bordenkircher, director of technology innovation, told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

“This combination of storage with those renewable resources allows us to take that energy from during the day, to put it in a battery and use it at night when the sun is down.”

The utility currently provides customers with an energy mix that is 50 percent clean, but is aiming to increase that percentage by 2025.

The project will add 850 megawatts of battery storage and at least 100 megawatts of new solar generation gathering a total of 950 megawatts of new clean-energy technology.

“Arizona has so much renewable energy available between solar, wind and also (the) Palo Verde Power Plant,” Bordenkircher said.

The plant “is a huge clean energy resource that we have here in the Valley,” he added.

“Sometimes we don’t have a use for that energy during the day — now we can store it and use it at night, which is a great carbon free mix that can be used fully.”

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