Construction will soon begin on a new Salt River Project Battery Storage Facility coming to West Valley.
The Sierra Estrella Energy Storage Facility, located off South Avondale Boulevard, north of West Broadway Road is a collaboration between SRP, based in Houston, and Plus Power LLC. It stores power for customers during peak demand times.
SRP announced this week that once it is operational in 2024, the facility will be the largest battery facility in Arizona, storing up to 1,000 megawatts of energy or 250 megawatts.
In a press release, Grant Smedley said that the facility would have enough energy stored to power 56,000 homes of average size for four hours. Battery storage is a way to provide energy for the grid in times when other resources are not available. It's part of SRP’s overall strategy to reduce carbon emissions and meet increasing energy demand.
Avondale, SRP, and Plus Power officials held a groundbreaking ceremony at the site last week. They said that construction should create 30-40 jobs.
SRP announced in the fall of last year that it will work with Plus Power to complete this project, as well as another 90-megawatt project in Gilbert. Both projects will be owned and operated by a subsidiary of Plus Power. Plus Power is responsible for designing, building, and operating these grid-charged sites. They will be using Tesla lithium-ion technologies.
Molly Emerson said in a press release that Plus Power was "excited" to partner with SRP for the Sierra Estrella project and contribute to grid reliability, as well as provide job and tax benefits to Avondale and nearby communities. Plus Power's projects are a bold move forward for the Southwest Energy Market and will be a cornerstone in our growing portfolio of operational projects.
Plus Power said that it was also working with Avondale Fire Department on a plan to respond in an emergency at the station. This will include on-site training for first responders.
SRP announced the partnership with Plus Power in the first place. The addition of East and West Valley Stations and battery technology would bring SRP’s total storage capacity of 800 megawatts to 800 by 2024. This is more than 10% SRP's estimated peak-hour electricity demands for 2024 and more than enough power to run more than 180,000 homes of average size.
As part of its commitment, the utility said that it would continue to develop storage technology as part of its goal to reduce carbon intensity to more than 65% in 2035 and to 90% by 2050. The utility has also announced that it will continue to develop storage technologies as part of its commitment to reduce carbon intensity by more than 65% by 2035 and 90% by 2050.