A large Tesla Powerpack project has been quietly deployed at a new large solar project in Arizona in partnership with NextEra Energy Resources and Salt River Project (SRP).
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Tesla has had its issues with SRP.
Through its acquisition of SolarCity, Tesla took over a longstanding lawsuit against Salt River Project (SRP), an electric utility in Arizona, over the company’s practice of imposing “unfair” fees on potential solar power purchasers, which has virtually killed the local solar market.
But they resolved their issues earlier this year with a settlement.
Now, Tesla has even provided a 10 MW Powerpack system for SRP’s Pinal Central Solar Energy Center (PCSEC).
It is paired with a 20 MW solar photovoltaic generation facility, which results in Arizona’s largest utility-scale solar energy center paired with a battery storage system.
The solar array comprises of 258,000 solar panels on 257 acres of land east of Casa Grande:
SRP General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Mike Hummel commented on the opening of the project earlier this month:
The project’s design allows SRP to utilize solar and battery storage together to optimize clean energy output to benefit our customers. In addition, the plant will assist SRP in meeting our goals for renewable energy while reducing carbon emissions.
Interestingly, all the Tesla badging on Powerpacks and Tesla’s inverters have been removed from all the hardware in the project:
SRP says that the project brought “more than 150 construction jobs to the area as well as four full-time positions.”
With the solar generation and energy storage, they estimate that it will generate “over $7 million in additional revenue for Pinal County over its operational lifetime.”
They think it will generate enough solar energy to power 5,000 homes.
It looks like Tesla will be deploying significant energy storage capacity in Arizona this year.
On top of this project, the settlement that they reached with SRP also resulted in a program to offer significant discounts on home battery packs, like Tesla Powerwall, to its customers.
The settlement also includes another 25-megawatt Powerpack system to be deployed on SRP’s grid.
With this said, I don’t get why it appears that they are distancing themselves from Tesla.
Tesla was left out of the press releases sent out by NextEra Energy Resources and Salt River Project, which is not exactly uncommon, but the removal of the actual badging is weird.
It’s strange because the hardware generally features quite prominent Tesla logos:
I wouldn’t read too much into it since they can do whatever they want with their batteries, but it’s still weird that they would take the time to remove the branding.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is that more energy storage capacity is deployed to better take advantage of renewable energy generation.