SOLON Energy Storage Management Research & Testing Site
The output of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind can vary throughout the day. Today, utilities can already handle a certain amount of variability on their systems; however, as utility-scale solar projects continue to increase in size, the impact of their inherent variability on the grid does as well. SOLON recognizes the need to have new and better tools such as energy storage at our disposal to help our customers address this intermittency and strengthen their grid in the future.
In 2012, SOLON announced the development of the Energy Storage Management Research and Testing (SMRT) site through its partnership with Tucson Electric Power (TEP), SMA and the Arizona Research Institute for Solar Energy (AzRise) at the University of Arizona. Connected to a 1.6 MW solar array recently built by SOLON, at the University of Arizona’s Science and Technology Park, the site will host multiple storage technologies to test their reliability and applicability. With an open design, the test site allows for different technologies to be added or replaced. Ultimately, the goal of the site is to provide utilities with greater control of their renewable portfolios.
Energy generated by solar is a solution to both our demand on coal, oil and natural resources as well as rising energy fuel costs. The ability to store this energy may become a critical piece of the puzzle for SOLON’s utility-scale and residential customers. Hopes are that the Energy SMRT site will begin to answer the many questions surrounding the utilization & value of these storage technologies.