SOLON Energy Storage Management Research & Testing Site

Live System Integrated with the Grid. Real Results.

“Storage is going to be a part of the solutions we provide, and that means we have to be becoming experts at storage, just like we’re experts at PV.” Bill Richardson, Senior Director of Technical Services, SOLON

 In 2011, 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 University of Arizona with the goal of integrating various storage technologies with a live PV plant to gain a better understanding of the true value of energy storage to solar.

Action Today

Connected to a 1.6 MW PV array, SOLON is currently using lithium ion batteries to manage and control the output of the PV plant. The batteries are used to:

  • Regulate power
  • Rapidly respond to mitigate effects of weather intermittency on solar
  • Actively responding in real time to limit ramp rates
  • Providing primary frequency regulation
  • Shape the power delivery profile by shifting the peak and flattening output
  • Energy arbitrage

Insights for Tomorrow

This full scale site is also an important tool for going beyond modeling performance to actually measuring performance. This gives tested and verifiable insight into the value of energy storage when coupled with PV. This technology provides our customers with greater control of their renewable portfolios for their unique requirements.

  • Determine most viable storage technologies based on utility or commercial/industrial requirements 
  • Considers technology factors such as battery size, ramp rate, discharge rate, cost and photovoltaic size
  • Considers external factors such as weather, irradiance and temperature


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