Arizona Public Service and First Solar are partnering to bring a 50-MW solar-fueled battery to the desert to provide power to Arizonans on hot summer days. This project will make Arizona home to one of the largest battery storage systems in the country. The design demonstrates how solar and storage can work together to deliver power to customers during peak hours.
PV Plant Courtesy of First Solar
First Solar will build and operate the facility that includes a 65-MW solar field to charge the battery. APS has signed a 15-year power-purchase agreement with First Solar that will enable APS to use the stored battery power when energy use is at its peak later in the day.
By pairing clean solar energy with advanced battery technology, First Solar and APS will be able to store power when the sun is high in the sky and deliver it to customers between 3 and 8 p.m. when the sun is on its way down, but energy use is peaking. This means that APS customers can get more of their peak power from solar.
This project adds to the more than one million solar panels and three grid-scale batteries currently on APS’s system. Over the next 15 years, APS plans to adopt more than 500 MW of additional battery storage.
“Partnering with an Arizona company such as First Solar to pair solar power with advanced battery storage is good for our customers and continues our state’s national leadership in clean energy innovation,” said Don Brandt, Chairman, President and CEO of APS.
APS has full use of the 50-MW battery and is able to maximize hourly capacity until it is fully discharged. The facility is set to begin service to customers in 2021 and will be built directly adjacent to the existing APS Redhawk Power Plant in western Maricopa County.
“First Solar has long been a global leader in the deployment of utility-scale solar,” said Mark Widmar, First Solar’s Chief Executive Officer. “Through this innovative project we are excited to partner with APS to demonstrate the capabilities of solar coupled with large-scale battery storage.”