In what’s likely to be one of the largest battery installations to date Tucson Electric Power will use the 10 megawatt Iron Horse Battery Energy Storage Project and a 2 MW solar array to help manage the electric grid in the region. The battery system is being installed by E.ON Climate & Renewables North America and Greensmith Energy at the University of Arizona Science and Technology Park southeast of Tucson.
As solar and wind power become ever more popular and utilities and energy users need to do more to balance the grid, energy storage systems are being explored. Such systems can absorb extra energy from a wind or solar farm, store it and disperse extra energy when it’s needed to balance the energy on the grid. Recently, for instance, the State University of New York (SUNY) installed a 217 kilowatt energy storage system to test its impact on the local grid. Another project in New York is installing energy storage for 300 Con Edison customers totaling 1.8 megawatts of battery storage.
“We’re working very hard to build a more resilient grid in a cost-effective way for our customers, and exploring energy storage technologies is an important aspect of our efforts. E.ON provides both innovative technologies and a wealth of expertise that will help us to achieve our long-term renewable energy and resource planning goals,” said Carmine Tilghman, a TEP Senior Director who oversees the company’s renewable energy programs.
The new system, which is expected to come online in 2017, will provide the benefits of base load generation and its response capabilities. TEP said the project will contribution to grid stability by providing ancillary services during the 10-year contract period.
“We are excited to put E.ON’s own utility storage expertise to use for TEP,” said Mark Frigo, E.ON’s VP of Energy Storage North America. “TEP is the perfect partner for this project as they are an experienced utility operator and very interested in integrating innovative, cost-effective technologies for the benefit of their customers.” He added, “The system will be capable of responding faster than conventional generation to adjust to rapid changes in power demand,”
It’s the latest project between E.ON and TEP. The company’s 6.6 MW Tech Park Solar and 13.2 MW Valencia Solar facilities also provide energy to TEP and it and partnered with TEP on the turnkey construction of TEP’s 17.2 MW solar facility at the Fort Huachuca Army Base near Sierra Vista, AZ.Tweet