We are finalizing negotiations and, in the coming months, will award a contract for 150 megawatts of new solar generation plus a 25-megawatt battery storage system by the end of 2023. At this time, it is the largest energy storage facility announced in Colorado.
“Energy storage is an integral part of our ability to transition from fossil fuels to incorporating more renewables into our system,” says Springs Utilities Chief Executive Officer Aram Benyamin.
“We are changing the way we power the Pikes Peak region and are on a path to reduce our carbon emissions by 40 percent or more from 2005 to 2035.”
The battery project will provide the utility with valuable information about improving solar power integration and reducing the need for natural gas to maintain reliability. For this reason, the utility will negotiate an option to add more storage capacity to the battery system in the future.
“This project will familiarize us with utility-scale battery technology and give us the flexibility to seek better pricing as the technology improves and our load growth materializes,” Benyamin explains.
The battery will be used to store less expensive solar energy during the day so that it can be used during more expensive peak demand periods. With the ability to run for up to four hours at maximum capacity, upwards of 30,000 homes will be powered when the battery is dispatched.
The reduction of carbon emissions will be realized by decommissioning one of the utility’s coal-fired power plants and the addition of more solar power. Beyond the 150-megawatt project, the utility is planning to add another 95 megawatts of solar power by the end of the year.
Once all of these renewable energy projects are online, more than 95,000 homes annually will be powered by this carbon-free energy.