New solar array with battery backup Final step towards a clean energy future


Washington state’s first utility-scale solar and battery project commissioned this week in northern Richland. With more than 11,400 new solar modules paired with battery storage, the Horn Rapids Solar, Storage and Training Project is the latest clean energy development for Energy Northwest.

Located seven miles north of Richland, the project is a partnership between Tucci Energy Services, the City of Richland, Potelco Inc.the Ministry of Economyand Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

The 20-hectare project will provide 4 MW of direct current, enough energy to power around 600 homes. In addition, the 1MW battery energy storage system can power about 150 homes for four hours.

“We are very pleased that this project is going online. Providing clean energy solutions has always been Energy Northwest’s vision and goal, and this is a great example of a partnership to meet the needs of customers in the Northwest,” said Greg Cullen, General Manager of Energy Services & Development at Energy Northwest.

the City of Richlands will buy the solar and battery storage energy for its customers. Power is fed into Richland’s distribution system, while excess power from the solar panels is stored by the battery system for later use.

Together, solar and battery storage create a more reliable and flexible source of energy. The large battery helps to cover the peak energy demand in a cost-effective manner.

Tucci energy servicesa Seattle-based energy company owned and operated by women, owns and operates the 4MW solar portion of the project.

A training center for solar and battery storage technicians is located right next to the array. The training covers plant construction, operation, maintenance, safety and security. Hundreds of workers from across the United States are expected to be trained annually in this program at this facility.

National Laboratory of the Pacific Northwest will monitor and analyze data from the project to assess the financial benefits of integrating battery energy storage to develop improved battery designs and advanced tools for more reliable and economical integration of intermittent renewable energy into the grid

Construction began in February 2020 and was completed this week. Energy Northwest’s share in the project was $6.5 million, with a $3 million grant from the State Department of Commerce’s Clean Energy Fund.

Energy Northwest is exactly that what President-elect Biden has new Climate 21 project – a diverse mix of non-fossil fuel generation systems, including wind, solar, hydroelectric and nuclear power, that collectively emit less than 20 grams of CO2 per kWh of electricity generated.

The combined capacity of Energy Northwest’s non-fossil fuel systems exceeds 10 billion kWh/year, enough energy to power a Seattle-sized city with a total capacity of approximately 1,300 MW with an average combined capacity factor of >90%. All for between 4.7 – 5.2¢/kWh now and for the next 30 years.

It could hardly be more reliable and cheaper.

Energy Northwest is actually part of a public agency formed in 1957 as the Washington State Joint Operating Agency. The organization was formed to meet public power needs by producing reliable, cost-effective electricity while promoting public power activities in the region. Today, membership of the Joint Operating Agency includes nearly all of Washington State’s public utility districts and several municipalities.


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