E.ON begins construction on 10 MW battery storage project in Arizona

Yesterday German utility holding company E.ON announced that it had begun construction on a 10 MW lithium ion battery project in Arizona, which will provide frequency response and voltage control to Tucson Electric Power (TEP) under a 10-year contract.

The Iron Horse project in E.ON North America’s first energy storage project, and is paired with a 2 MW PV array at the University or Arizona’s Science and Technology Park. The company expects to complete the battery system in the first half of 2017.

TEP says that it will use Iron Horse’s capacity to not only stabilize its grid, but to study how energy storage can support the expansion of solar and wind.

“We’re working very hard to integrate cost effective, innovative technologies that will improve service for our customers and support our expansion of renewable energy,” said TEP Senior Director of Renewable Energy Supply Carmine Tilghman in a press statement.

“That’s why E.ON is an excellent partner for a project like this. E.ON understands the promise and challenges of renewable energy and has demonstrated its expertise on other joint projects with us.”

This project expands an existing relationship between E.ON and TEP regarding renewable energy. E.ON is currently supplying electricity to TEP from two PV plants totaling 20 MW, and has partnered with TEP on the construction of a 17 MW PV plant at a U.S. military base.

This announcement also joins several recent notices related to large energy storage systems in the United States. E.ON’s press release came the same day that Switzerland’s Leclanché announced that it will serve as the construction contractor for a 20 MW energy storage project in Chicago, and less than six weeks after Tesla announced that it will supply a 20 MW/80 MWh battery for utility Southern California Edison.