ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona’s largest operational battery energy storage system now online, SRP says

Mar 14, 2024, 4:00 PM

Sonoran Solar Energy Center now online, SRP says...

Arizona's largest battery is now operating on SRP's power grid, according to a Thursday announcement. (Photos courtesy of SRP)

(Photos courtesy of SRP)

PHOENIX — The Sonoran Solar Energy Center, a new operational battery energy storage system, is now online, according to the Salt River Project (SRP).

It is Arizona’s largest operational battery storage system, SRP said in a Thursday announcement.

SRP teamed up with NextEra Energy Resources to commission the center. The 260-megawatt solar plant has a 1 gigawatt-hour battery energy solar system, a company announcement said.

Essentially, this system is adding clean energy to the grid. It will help authorities meet the electricity needs of Google’s upcoming data center campus in Mesa.

The Sonoran Solar Energy Center the energy center will mainly support Google’s campus, SRP said. However, extra energy the Mesa facility doesn’t need will support other SRP customers.

How Google’s Mesa data center will benefit from the Sonoran Solar Energy Center

The $600 million data center set to be built in Mesa will power digital services like Google Cloud, Gmail and Google Search.

The completed center will benefit users in the Valley as well as Google users worldwide. It will also bring around 1,200 jobs to the Valley.

In addition to serving the Mesa data center, the Sonoran Solar Energy Center will also add clean electricity to the grid, SRP said.

This meets Google’s sustainability goals, according to Amanda Peterson Corio, Global Head of Data Center Energy, Google.

“We’re aiming for every Google campus to operate on clean electricity every hour of every day by 2030,” Peterson Corio said in a statement. “The collaboration with Salt River Project and NextEra is accelerating decarbonization in Arizona and our own carbon-free journey in the region.”

Sonoran Solar Energy Center reflects commitment to sustainable energy resources

This project reflects SRP’s transition towards clean energy resources. Every watt of energy it delivers in upcoming years will have less carbon, the company announcement said.

As the demand for energy grows in the Phoenix metro area, SRP plans to double the number of power resources on its power system in the next decade.

Bobby Olsen is the chief planning, strategy and sustainability officer at SRP. He said Google’s sustainability goals help SRP decarbonize its power generation portfolio.

“SRP and the Valley are fortunate to have sustainability-focused organizations like Google located here who help accelerate the transition to carbon-free power resources,” Olsen said in a statement.

So how does this benefit everyday Arizonans?

Anthony Pedroni, an executive at NextEra Energy Resources, said the Sonoran Solar Energy Center will benefit local communities.

“We are pleased to work with SRP and Google to bring online Arizona’s newest renewable energy centers,” Pedroni said.

“These renewable energy centers will generate low-cost, homegrown energy and provide millions of dollars in additional revenue to both Maricopa and Pinal counties,” he added.

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Arizona’s largest operational battery energy storage system now online, SRP says