Arizona utility Salt River Project (SRP), in partnership with energy storage systems provider Plus Power, has broken ground on a new 250-MW battery facility in Tolleson, Arizona.
The Sierra Estrella Energy Storage facility is expected to be completed in 2024 and be capable of storing up to 1 GWh of energy. The stored energy will be used by SRP customers during periods of peak electricity demand and will facilitate the integration of renewable resources into the SRP power system.
“This facility will have enough stored energy to power more than 56,000 average size homes for a four-hour period,” said Grant Smedley, Director of Resource Planning at SRP. “Battery storage can help provide energy to the grid when other resources may not be available and is part of SRP’s overarching strategy to meet rising energy demand while reducing carbon emissions.”
The Avondale Fire Department will work with Plus Power to create an emergency response plan for the facility. The two organizations will also conduct onsite training for local first responders in the coming months.
“Avondale is proud to partner with SRP and Plus Power to welcome the Sierra Estrella Energy Storage facility which will be a valuable asset to our community for decades to come,” said Avondale Councilmember Veronica Malone. “The project will provide necessary power to the region with no onsite air polluting emissions, will incorporate the latest safety standards, and has been designed with thorough planning and preparation.”
The Sierra Estrella Energy Storage facility is one of two battery storage projects announced by SRP and Plus Power in fall of 2022, with both facilities set to come online by summer 2024. The other facility, Superstition Energy Storage, will be built in Gilbert, Arizona, and will have a capacity of 90 MW or 360 MWh.
Together with other battery contracts, SRP aims to surpass 1.1 GWh of battery storage by 2024.
“We are thrilled to partner with SRP on the Sierra Estrella battery storage project, and to contribute to local grid reliability with job and tax benefits for Avondale and the nearby communities,” said Molly Emerson, Director of Project Development at Plus Power. “Plus Power’s projects represent a bold step forward for the Southwest energy market, and will act as a cornerstone of our growing portfolio of operating projects.”
SRP aims to reduce its carbon intensity by more than 65 percent by 2035 and 90 percent by 2050. According to the company, with the addition of the Sierra Estrella and Superstition battery storage facilities, nearly half of all retail energy delivered to its customers will come from carbon-free resources by 2025.
SRP is a community-based, not-for-profit public power utility and the largest electricity provider in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, serving approximately 1.1 million customers.
Based in Houston, San Francisco and New York, Plus Power develops utility-scale energy storage projects that enable a more efficient and reliable electrical grid.