APS seeks partners to bring battery energy storage to solar plants

Arizona Public Service issued a request for proposals to equip existing APS solar plants with battery storage.

This RFP is a part of APS‘s plan to add up to 500 MW of energy storage to its system over the next 15 years. These batteries will bring more clean energy to APS customers when they need it most, by storing an abundance of mid-day solar and re-distributing it at peak times of customer usage later in the day.

Since 2011, customers have been benefitting from the clean energy produced by multiple grid-scale solar plants that APS operates as part of its AZ Sun program.

The plants are located on sites across Arizona, including Gila Bend, Buckeye, Chino Valley, Hyder Valley, Yuma and Glendale. This RFP will allow APS to take these solar facilities to the next level by helping provide clean energy to customers at peak energy use times.

In this RFP solicitation, APS is seeking to equip these plants with a total of up to about 106 MW of battery storage. The requested capacity represents one of the largest battery storage projects in the country and enables APS’s existing solar resources to help meet peak needs reliably with clean power, even when the sun is not shining.

For Arizona to continue to be a leader in solar, it is imperative to find innovative ways to best use the solar already on the grid; some call this “Solar 2.0.” It means using the latest technology, such as batteries, to harness the sun to deliver clean energy to customers after it gets dark.

APS’s system already includes more than one million installed solar panels, which collectively generate more than one gigawatt of clean energy. With three grid-scale batteries currently in operation, a partnership with First Solar for a 50-MW battery slated to come online in 2021, and the latest RFP being issued tomorrow, APS is finding new ways to integrate battery storage to get even more use out of its solar.

APS wants energy storage projects that can be in operation by June 2020.

APS serves about 2.7 million people in 11 of Arizona’s 15 counties.

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