APS Testing Energy Storage System For Solar Plant Integration


Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) has begun testing a new 1.5 MWh energy storage system. The goal of the company's two-year pilot in Flagstaff, Ariz., will be to determine the benefits for storing electricity and putting it onto the grid at times when APS customers need it most.

‘We plan to study a number of things, including how we can decrease equipment stress on high-demand days and how we can provide solar energy to our customers after sundown,’ says APS Director of Energy Innovation Barbara Lockwood.

The energy storage pilot will be twofold. In 2012, the energy storage system, which was developed by Electrovaya Inc., a lithium-ion battery manufacturing company, will reside in an electrical distribution substation. At a later date, the system will be trucked a few miles up the road to support a neighborhood-scale solar power plant.

At the Doney Park Renewable Energy site, a 500 kW solar power plant, the energy storage system will help reduce the intermittency of solar power generation and help to get more renewable energy onto the grid, APS says. The utility also plans to test dispatching the energy after dark.

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