Arizona’s largest battery- now operating on SRP’s power grid, supporting Google, other clean energy resources

Salt River Project (SRP) and NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, announced Arizona’s largest operational battery energy storage system is now online. Sonoran Solar Energy Center is a 260-megawatt (MW) solar facility with the ability to charge a 1 gigawatt-hour (GWh) battery energy storage system, located south of Buckeye, Arizona. The solar and battery storage system is adding clean energy to the grid and will help match the electricity consumed by Google’s forthcoming data center campus in Mesa, Arizona. Energy not needed by the data center will be used to meet other SRP customer needs.

Also supporting Google is the newly developed Storey Energy Center, an 88-MW solar and battery storage system, located in Coolidge, Arizona. Both facilities support the clean energy transition of SRP’s power system and are operated by subsidiaries of NextEra Energy Resources. They jointly generate enough energy to power nearly 80,000 average size homes when the sun is shining, and they can store clean energy for up to four hours to support the power grid when there is high power demand.

SRP and NextEra Energy Resources’ under development wind facility, Babbitt Ranch Energy Center, will also support Google. This is a 161-MW wind project, on Babbitt Ranches property in Coconino County, north of Flagstaff.

Google is pursuing net-zero emissions across its operations and value chain by 2030, supported by an ambitious goal to run its data centers and office campuses on 24/7 carbon-free energy. The Sonoran, Storey and Babbitt Ranch projects contribute to these commitments by supporting the energy needs of Google’s future data center in Mesa, which the company announced in 2023 with plans to use air-cooled technology.

“We’re aiming for every Google campus to operate on clean electricity every hour of every day by 2030, including in Arizona where we are excited to put down roots with our first data center in the state currently under construction,” said Amanda Peterson Corio, Global Head of Data Center Energy, Google. “The collaboration with Salt River Project and NextEra is accelerating decarbonization in Arizona and our own carbon-free journey in the region.”          

SRP is taking significant, industry-leading steps to decarbonize its power generation portfolio while serving one of the fastest growing service territories in the country. Through its Integrated System Plan, SRP found it will need to at least double the number of power resources on its power system in the next 10 years. Adding this significant number of resources must happen at this pace to meet growing energy demand in the Phoenix metropolitan area and as SRP completes the planned retirement of 2,600 MW of coal resources.

“SRP and the Valley are fortunate to have sustainability focused organizations like Google located here who help accelerate the transition to carbon-free power resources,” said Bobby Olsen, Chief Planning, Strategy and Sustainability Officer at SRP. “We also value our partnerships with developers like NextEra Energy Resources who support SRP in developing renewable resources in a rapid timeframe as we prioritize delivering affordable, reliable and sustainable power to all SRP customers.”

“These renewable energy centers will generate low-cost, homegrown energy and provide millions of dollars in additional revenue to both Maricopa and Pinal counties over the life of the projects,” said Anthony Pedroni, Vice President of Renewables and Storage Development at NextEra Energy Resources, the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun, as well as a world leader in battery energy storage. “We are pleased to work with SRP and Google to bring online Arizona’s newest renewable energy centers.”  

Every watt of energy SRP delivers in the years ahead will have less carbon. More than 2,300 MW of carbon-free energy resources – including more than 1,000 MW of solar—are serving SRP customers, and more than 600 MW of batteries and pumped hydro storage are supporting SRP’s power grid. SRP also has significantly more solar energy capacity currently under development. Once all under-development solar is operational, total solar capacity on SRP’s power system will exceed SRP’s goal, equaling more than 2,400 MW. Additional battery energy storage capacity is also under development, which will bring SRP’s total battery storage to more than 1,100 MW by the end of 2024.

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