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New SRP battery storage systems will help power thousands of homes

SRP building
Jean Clare Sarmiento/KJZZ
The SRP building in Tempe.

High temperatures drive up the demand for power as home and business owners try to maintain their cool. As part of its effort to meet those demands, Salt River Project is unveiling two new battery storage systems, one in the east and one in the west Valley.

The Sierra Estrella Energy Storage system in Avondale sits on nine acres and stores enough energy to power more than 56,000 homes for a four-hour period and is already online. Superstition Energy Storage facility in Gilbert will come online later this week, and can serve more than 20,000 homes for the same four-hour period.

Grant Smedley, director of Resource Planning for SRP, says the batteries will be used when needed most.

"And so the way we’ll, most of the time we’ll use these batteries is we’ll charge them when power demand is lower. So that would be late night, early morning time frame. And then we’ll discharge them to help meet that growing peak demand," Smedley said.

When both batteries are up and running, nearly 1,300 megawatts of battery and pumped hydro storage will help serve SRP customers.

Keller Brown is an intern at KJZZ. He is currently a graduate student at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, working toward a master's in sports journalism.