SOLON Corp. has entered a partnership with Tucson Electric Power (TEP) and the Arizona Research Institute for Solar Energy at the University of Arizona to design and construct an energy storage management research and testing (SMRT) site.
According to SOLON, the purpose of the site is to research the reliability and applicability of integrating different energy-storage technologies with photovoltaics onto the grid and, ultimately, to provide utilities with greater control of their renewable portfolios.
The SMRT site will be attached to a 1.6 MW solar plant recently built by SOLON, owned by TEP, and located at the University of Arizona's Science and Technology Park. The project is an open design, allowing for many different technologies to be added or replaced as advancements continue in the coming years. SOLON will design and install the control system and oversee the project.
‘As we increase our reliance on intermittent solar and wind resources, grid-tied storage systems are going to become a necessary piece of maintaining reliable service for customers,’ says David Hutchens, executive vice president of TEP and its parent company, UniSource Energy Corp. ‘This project will give us an opportunity to work with trusted partners to evaluate the performance of various storage technologies.’