Energy Storage Projects Enter Service in Arizona

By David Wagman

E.ON North America says that its 10 megawatt lithium titanium oxide energy storage facility and accompanying 2 MW solar array entered service at the University of Arizona’s Tech Park in southeast Tucson.

The Iron Horse Energy Storage & Solar Project provides frequency regulation and voltage control support for Tucson Electric Power (TEP).

Earlier in 2017, a unit of NextEra Energy Resources of Juno Beach, Fla., completed construction of a 10-MW lithium nickel-manganese-cobalt energy storage system at a TEP substation. The system supports stable voltage.

Energy storage systems can boost power output levels more quickly than conventional generating resources, and may allow utilities like TEP to avoid using more expensive generating resources while expanding renewable resources.

TEP says that NextEra Energy Resources and E.ON submitted bids that allowed construction of both projects for less than the original estimated cost to build a single 10 MW system. Both projects were developed under 10-year contracts with performance agreements to protect customers and the company from financial risks associated with investing in new technologies.

TEP also is participating in a two-year research and development project with Chicago-based IHI Inc. Energy Storage (IHI) to study how use of battery energy storage systems can improve electric reliability in Arizona’s hot, dry climate.

IHI constructed a 1 MW lithium ion energy storage system at the site of TEP’s Prairie Fire Solar Array, a 5 MW system. IHI will test its ESWare planning and control software while working with TEP to develop efficient control strategies for energy storage systems. This will give TEP opportunities to identify when and where the installation of additional energy storage systems would be most beneficial. The IHI system will be charged with energy generated by TEP’s solar array.

TEP plans to add 800 MW of renewable generating capacity by the end of 2030, boosting its total renewable energy portfolio to around 1,200 MW.

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