SRP bolsters Valley energy grid with 2 new battery storage systems

Jun 26, 2024, 8:00 PM

Two new battery storage systems to save extra energy for later use...

The 250 MW Sierra Estrella Energy Storage in Avondale is SRP's largest grid-tied battery. (SRP photo)

(SRP photo)

PHOENIX — Two new battery storage systems in the Valley will absorb excess energy when it’s not needed for use during peak demand times, the Salt River Project announced on Tuesday.

The water and electric utility teamed up with Plus Power LLC to announce the two new systems: Sierra Estrella Energy Storage in Avondale and Superstition Energy Storage in Gilbert.

“When both facilities are operational, nearly 1,300 MW of battery and pumped hydro storage are helping serve SRP customers with affordable, reliable and sustainable power,” according to a news release from SRP.

The two facilities will add a combined 340 megawatts to SRP’s system. That’s enough to power 76,000 houses for four hours.

The 250-megawatt Sierra Estrella Energy Storage, which sits on 9 acres in the West Valley, is now Arizona’s largest standalone battery system. It can store enough energy to power over 56,000 homes for four hours, SRP said.

On the other hand, the 90-megawatt Superstition Energy Storage in Gilbert has the ability to store enough power to support 20,000 homes over the course of four hours. SRP expects this project to come online this week.

How the two new battery storage systems joined the grid

The two new battery storage systems were made possible thanks to a partnership with Plus Power LLC. This company designed the facilities, consulting with first responders from Avondale and Gilbert.

The two facilities have lithium-ion battery energy storage systems that Tesla designed and manufactured in the U.S.

Union labor enabled most of the EPC work, SRP said. Furthermore, a federal investment tax credit from the Inflation Reduction Act supported the creation of both facilities.

SRP CEO Jim Pratt said he’s proud to provide new energy technology to help Arizonans keep their ACs on during the brutal summer heat.

“We appreciate our partnership with Plus Power to develop these resources, which will provide flexibility and resource diversity to help maintain reliable power during Arizona’s hot summers,” Pratt said in the news release.

Plus Power CEO Brandon Keefe said this partnership did more than just create local jobs and tax benefits for Avondale and Gilbert. It also helped SRP meet its goal of deploying safe and cost-effective storage technology to reduce carbon intensity.

“Plus Power is in the business of solving hard climate problems for our customers,” Keefe added. “We are excited to provide these projects as solutions to SRP and greater Phoenix to help meet their growing electrical needs with zero emissions and zero water sources of electricity.”

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SRP bolsters Valley energy grid with 2 new battery storage systems