US utility employs energy storage to offset infrastructure investment


According to a statement, the two 4MW/h battery energy storage plants will help the utility increase its customer base without the need to invest in new energy transmission and distribution infrastructure.

The development of the battery energy storage plants will begin in the last quarter of 2017 to help APS avoid investing in the development of 20 miles of transmission and distribution lines to supply electricity to some 600 new consumers in a rural location situated 90 minutes northeast of Phoenix.

The project is expected to be complete by early 2018. The battery energy storage systems will be used to store energy from the grid to meet growing energy demands on the utility’s grid system due to the addition of new customers on the network.

Energy storage plans

The energy storage systems are based on an open-standard platform which will enable APS to increase the capacity of the storage systems in line with growing energy demand over the next ten years.

Scott Bordenkircher, director of transmission and distribution technology innovation and integration at APS, commented: “This project is a crucial step in the right direction for Arizona’s energy future.

“Over the next 15 years, APS has plans to add 500 megawatts of storage capacity. This project is indicative of the type of smart grid APS envisions for customers, one that enables people to have more technology in their own homes. ”

The energy provider to some 2.7 million customers in 11 of Arizona’s 15 counties claims it is the first utility in the US to batteries in place of traditional infrastructure.

APS has previously engaged in deploying energy storage systems under efforts to increase its renewable energy portfolio to reduce carbon emissions and provide consumers with affordable energy.

To date, APS generates 50% of its electricity using clean energy resources and uses storage systems to store solar during the day and integrate stored energy into the main during times when demand is high and solar generation is low. [Southern Company launches energy storage demonstration with Tesla and EPRI].

“We are watching as the prices come down on battery technology.

“Thoughtful implementation of battery storage is key to its future success,” reiterated Bordenkircher.


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