E.ON North America celebrated on June 1st the grand opening of its Iron Horse Energy Storage & Solar Project at the University of Arizona's Tech Park in southeast Tucson.
The 10MW lithium titanium oxide storage facility and accompanying 2MW solar array is now helping Tucson Electric Power (TEP) to maintain reliable electric service for more than 400,000 customers by providing frequency regulation and voltage control support.
"We're excited to celebrate the grand opening of our first grid connected lithium battery system project in North America," said Mark Frigo, VP of Energy Storage North America at E.ON. "Energy storage systems, like Iron Horse, allow utilities such as Tucson Electric Power to use renewable resources more effectively and efficiently within their electric grid. Energy storage has the potential to truly revolutionize the 21st century grid, and we are excited to be leading the way in this innovative new market segment."
TEP's large, community-scale solar resources produce enough solar power to serve more than 52,000 customers.
"We expect energy storage systems like Iron Horse to play an increasingly important role in the delivery of safe, reliable electric service to customers as we continue our expansion of renewable resources," said Carmine Tilghman, Senior Director of Energy Supply and Renewable Energy for TEP. "E.ON has provided our local electric grid with a cost-effective, reliable battery storage and solar system that will help us build a more resilient grid for our customers."
"This is a significant milestone, marking the first project of Phase Two in the Solar Zone at the UA Tech Park. Phase Two of the Solar Zone includes research and development focused on energy storage and grid optimization among other activities. The Solar Zone at the UA Tech Park is one of the largest multi-technology solar demonstration sites testing a variety of different technologies at the grid level," said Bruce A. Wright, Tech Parks Arizona Associate Vice President.
Lessons learned from the Iron Horse project are being applied to E.ON's Texas Waves projects, the second and third grid connected lithium-ion battery systems installed by E.ON in North America. Co-located at E.ON's existing Pyron and Inadale wind farms in West Texas, the Texas Waves projects are currently under construction and expected to be online by the end of 2017.
E.ON has developed, built, and operates more than 3,000 MW of renewable solar, wind and energy storage generation across the U.S., with more on the way. E.ON also offers O&M and asset management services to third party owner/operators looking for "Service with an Owner's Eye."