March 15, 2024

According to SRP, Arizona’s Biggest Battery Energy Storage System Is Live

Two leading American energy producers NextEra Energy Resources and Salt Rivers Project (SRP) have teamed up to open a new operational battery energy storage system.

The new Sonoran Solar Energy Center is Arizona's biggest operational battery energy storage system. SRP announced on Thursday.

The energy centre, which boasts a 260-megawatt (MW) capacity and can charge a 1 gigawatt-hour (GWh) battery energy storage system, is located in the south of Buckeye, Arizona.

According to SRP, the goal of the project is to add clean energy to the grid. It will assist the authorities in providing electricity to Google's planned data centre project in Mesa. The data centre will use its excess energy to meet the demands of other SRP clients.

The Benefits of the Sonoran Solar Energy Center

The Sonoran Solar Energy Center and the recently constructed Storey Energy Center, an 88-MW solar and battery storage facility situated in Coolidge, Arizona, will provide support for Google.

Both facilities, which are run by NextEra Energy Resources subsidiaries, assist SRP's power system's shift to sustainable energy.

When the sun is shining, they can collectively produce energy equivalent to around 80,000 average-sized houses. When electricity demand is strong, they can store clean energy for up to four hours, which helps the power grid.

Google will also be supported by Babbitt Ranch Energy Center, a wind plant being developed by NextEra Energy Resources and SRP. This 161-MW wind project is located north of Flagstaff in Coconino County on the Babbitt Ranches property.

Collaboration With Google

Google has set an ambitious target to run its data centres and office campuses on carbon-free energy 24/7. By 2030, the company wants to have net-zero emissions throughout its value chain and activities.

To meet the energy requirements of Google's future data centre in Mesa—which the firm announced in 2023 and aims to employ air-cooled technology—the Sonoran, Storey, and Babbitt Ranch projects contribute to these obligations.

"The collaboration with Salt River Project and NextEra is accelerating decarbonization in Arizona and our carbon-free journey in the region," stated Amanda Peterson Corio, Global Head of Data Center Energy at Google.

Chief Planning, Strategy, and Sustainability Officer at SRP Bobby Olsen remarked, "SRP and the Valley are fortunate to have sustainability-focused organisations like Google located here who help accelerate the transition to carbon-free power resources."

SRP Future Power Plans

Serving one of the nation's fastest-growing service zones, SRP is decarbonizing its power generation portfolio while implementing major, industry-leading changes. SRP discovered through its Integrated System Plan that in the upcoming ten years, its power system will require at least twice as many power resources.

As SRP completes the scheduled retirement of 2,600 MW of coal resources, a large number of resources must be added at this rate to fulfil the growing energy demand in the Phoenix metropolitan region.

According to Anthony Pedroni, Vice President of Renewables and Storage Development at NextEra Energy Resources, throughout the projects, these renewable energy centres will produce inexpensive, domestic energy and bring millions of extra dollars in revenue to Pinal and Maricopa counties.

In the coming years, SRP will produce electricity with less carbon in every watt. SRP's power system is supported by more than 600 MW of batteries and pumped hydro storage, while more than 2,300 MW of carbon-free energy resources, including more than 1,000 MW of solar power, serve the company's customers.

By the end of 2024, SRP will have more than 1,100 MW of total battery storage thanks to additional battery energy storage capacity that is now being developed.

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