What will be the largest solar-charged battery facility in Arizona - and one of the largest in the entire nation - is set for construction just south of the city of Buckeye.
The Salt River Project utility company intends to build the Sonoran Energy Center as part of a plan announced late last year to add 1,000 megawatts of solar to its energy supply by the year 2025.
The project will consist of two new solar energy and battery storage plants set for the rural Rainbow Valley. Upon completion, the plants will be capable of providing the energy needs for up to 100,000 homes.
The idea behind the venture is for the Salt River Project to be able to provide a source of solar power when it is most needed.
The utility company, based in Tempe, serves nearly all of the Phoenix metropolitan area.
In a statement, Mike Hummel, chief executive officer with SRP, said that the new solar and storage facilities will allow the utility company to “meet its summer peak demand, reduce carbon emissions, and provide clean energy to our customers while optimizing energy output using state of the art battery technology.”
Work on the new facilities is expected to begin by at least next year, with the facilities becoming fully operational in the summer of 2023.
By Garry Boulard
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