Salt River Project launches 40MW storage for peaking flexibility

The Salt River Project (SRP) will launch Arizona’s first battery energy storage project to provide flexible peaking capacity.

Energy storage firm Fluence will supply a 10MW, four-hour duration system to AES Corp., which has a 20 year agreement with SRP for the project to be built in Chandler.

AES owns Fluence in partnership with Siemens.

Fluence said in a press release that its Advancion energy storage technology platform was selected “to meet SRP’s need for an industrial-strength solution with high dependability, reliability and the ability to evolve over long-term operations.”

It will also help SRP asses how to best scale-up future energy storage projects across its 2,900-square-mile electric service area.

Arizona has proposed procuring 3GW of energy storage by 2030, the largest in the nation.

New Jersey has enacted a law directing the Board of Public Utilities to begin work paving the way for a goal of 600MW of energy storage by 2021 and 2GW of energy storage by 2030.

The states join several others who have standalone energy storage targets, including California, Oregon, Massachusetts, and New York.

In a report released this May, consulting firm Deloitte noted that uptake of battery storage in electric power grids worldwide continues broadly, spurred by a range of market drivers.

“Battery storage is flexible, can be deployed quickly, has multiple applications, and can produce numerous value streams, not to mention that battery prices are falling faster than anticipated,” it noted.

Battery storage growth is also being fueled by advances in adjacent digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and predictive analytics.

These drivers “are giving rise to aggregated solutions and innovative business models that were nearly inconceivable a few years ago. Start-ups around the world are rapidly commercialising intelligent networks of “behind-the- meter” batteries to benefit electricity customers, utilities, and grid operators,” it added.

According to Mike Hummel, SRP’s general manager and CEO, “Energy storage is already providing a wealth of services to central Arizona’s grid through other deployments, from supporting the growth of renewables to boosting reliability on transmission and distribution grids. The utility’s latest investment will “add needed much-needed efficiency and value for our more than 1 million electric consumers,” he said.