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Utility SRP, NextEra bring online Arizona’s ‘largest’ BESS project, to supply Google

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Arizona utility Salt River Project (SRP) and renewables developer NextEra Energy Resources have commissioned a 1GWh battery energy storage system (BESS) in Buckeye, Arizona, US.

It is the largest operational BESS project in Arizona, according to the utility. The Sonoran Solar Energy Center includes a 260MW solar PV plant. The BESS’ power output in megawatts is the same 260MW figure.

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It will power technology giant Google’s upcoming data centre campus in Mesa, Arizona. The surplus energy not used by the data centre will be provided to other SRP customers. The developers announced the Sonoran Solar Energy Center in 2019.

This latest project builds on a relationship between utility and developer, with both companies starting commercial operations of a 100MW battery storage system with 4-hour duration in Pinal County, Arizona, last December. Both companies have also built other renewables projects in Arizona which aim to power Google’s facilities, including the recently developed 88MW solar and BESS project in Coolidge.

Google is not the only big tech company to have secured power purchase agreements (PPAs) with the Arizona utility to power its data centres. Social media company Meta signed last December a solar-plus-storage PPA with SRP and Danish energy company Ørsted with energy provided through the Eleven Mile Solar Center in Arizona. The facility will have a 400MW solar PV plant along with a 300MW/1.2GWh BESS.

Through its Integrated System Plan – updated in 2023 – the utility targets to double the number of power resources on its power systems in the next ten years. By the end of 2024, the utility expects to bring online 1.1GW of energy storage capacity and is seeking to add a further 1.5GW of battery storage by 2035.

In October, developer Plus Power secured financing for two Arizona projects for which it has signed 20-year energy storage tolling agreements with SRP, including the 250MW/1,000MWh Sierra Estrella BESS, at which construction began in April this year.

Energy-Storage.news’ publisher Solar Media is hosting the 6th Energy Storage Summit USA this week, 19-20 March 2024 in Austin, Texas. Featuring a packed programme of panels, presentations and fireside chats from industry leaders focusing on accelerating the market for energy storage across the country. For more information, go to the website.

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