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APS Launches Battery Storage Project

(Photo courtesy of APS)
APS is the state’s largest utility.

As more of Arizona’s energy comes from the sun, utilities are trying new ways of capturing all that power.

APS has launched a major battery-storage project for customers in the West Valley.

The batteries have enough storage to power 1,000 homes. During the day, they’ll collect the excess energy produced by 1,500 homes with rooftop solar systems. The batteries will then kick in when energy demand spikes in those areas. Scott Bordenkircher with APS says they’ll study how the batteries make the grid more reliable and potentially cut the cost of generating electricity.

“Solar systems on rooftops that might come on and off due to clouds or weather, the battery is able to smooth over that power that’s flowing onto the grid,” Bordenkircher said.

At the moment, only about 100 APS customers have their own batteries. Often they’re just for backup. But the technology is evolving rapidly and as costs come down, APS will likely have many more batteries, owned both by the utility and individual solar customers, coming online.

News The Show
Will Stone grew up with the sounds of public radio. As a senior field correspondent, he strives to tell the same kind of powerful stories that got him into the business — whether that means trudging through some distant corner of the Sonoran Desert or uncovering an unknown injustice right down the street. Since joining the KJZZ newsroom in 2015, he has covered political scandals, fights over the future of energy, and efforts to care for some of Arizona’s most vulnerable communities. His pieces have also aired on national programs like Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here & Now and Marketplace. Before coming to KJZZ, he reported for public radio stations in Nevada and Connecticut. Stone received his degree in English literature from Haverford College, where he also wrote about the arts and culture scene in Philadelphia. After graduating, he interned at NPR West in Culver City, California, where he learned from some of the network’s veteran reporters and editors. When he doesn’t have a mic in hand, Stone enjoys climbing mountains, running through his central Phoenix neighborhood and shamelessly promoting his cat, Barry.