Energy Northwest (EN) has committed to building a 1 megawatt energy storage system in Washington— the US state’s first solar-plus-battery plant.
The battery will be combined with a 4MW solar facility to “help the city of Richland meet upcoming state requirements for renewable generation” EN said.
The Horn Rapids Solar Storage & Training Project is being developed with Washington-based Potelco— part of the Quanta Services group— which will finance and build the 20-acre solar PV array, while Energy Northwest will build, own and operate the battery system.
EN told BEST Battery Briefing the utility is still considering technology options for the storage system, but at this time lithium-ion appears to be the most viable cost option.
“This will be the first development to integrate both solar and battery storage into our state’s clean mix of hydro, nuclear and wind generation,” said Terry Brewer, president of the EN board of directors and commissioner for Grant County Public Utility District.
The US$6.5 million storage project has already received $3m in assistance from Washington state’s Clean Energy Fund.
As well as providing clean electricity generation and storage, the facility will serve as a training ground for solar and battery storage technicians, with hundreds of workers from throughout the US training there.
“The battery will smooth the solar output, shift off-peak solar generation to times when the energy is needed, and help reduce peak energy demand,” said Clint Gerkensmeyer, project manager for Energy Services and Deployment.