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‘One of the biggest of its kind’ power storage plant being built in Phoenix for $500M

A North Carolina company broke ground Jan. 18 on a large battery-storage facility in Phoenix that will accumulate power during the morning and early afternoon, then release it during peak-demand hours for utility APS and its customers.

Strata Clean Energy said it’s investing roughly $500 million in the Scatter Wash complex near Happy Valley Road and Seventh Avenue. The site will feature 312 batteries, each the size of a large storage container.

APS officials say the energy released will be enough to power 40,800 average-sized Arizona homes, though the facility also will provide electricity for industrial and other users.

The battery-storage facility will be one of the largest of its kind in the world, said Josh Rogol, president of privately held Strata Clean Energy, which owns the site and will develop it. The complex is expected to start operating during the first half of 2025.

Gov. Katie Hobbs said the complex will help to ensure that Arizona’s power grid is safe, reliable and affordable. “Arizona is primed to lead the way in clean energy,” she said at a groundbreaking ceremony, calling the state an “economic leader and an example for other states to follow.”

APS to purchase stored power for 20 years

APS signed a 20-year agreement to purchase stored power from the site and selected Strata Clean Energy after a competitive bidding process, said Jacob Tetlow, the utility’s executive vice president for operations. The 14-acre Scatter Wash complex will pull power from a nearby APS substation during times when electricity is plentiful and cheap, store it for several hours and then release it later in the day, typically when demand is peaking around 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.

The substation is located nearby, minimizing the number of electrical lines running between the two sites. Power from the battery facility will supply a range of residential and industrial customers including manufacturing sites and data centers, Tetlow said, without citing any in particular.

APS is halfway to its goal to supply power from 100% carbon-free sources by 2050. “We won’t get to the other 50% without projects like this,” Tetlow said.

Contractor Mortenson will build the complex, with about 100 jobs created during the construction phase. When operational, the site will employ up to 10 full-time workers.

Battery storage facilities becoming a trend

Other utilities, including Salt River Project, also have been developing more battery-storage complexes. For example, SRP and NextEra Energy Resources last month unveiled plans for a solar-powered facility in Coolidge.

In contrast, at least initially, Strata Clean Energy’s Scatter Wash battery-storage complex will draw on power generated by a mix of fuel sources in APS’ power grid. However, APS typically has an abundance of solar power during morning and early afternoon hours that will be used to charge these batteries.

 

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