BrightNight to meet one third of Arizona utility’s peak demand with solar and storage project


After a competitive solicitation process, utility-scale developer BrightNight announced it entered a joint venture with Southwest Public Power Agency (SPPA) in Arizona to deliver 300 MW of solar energy capacity and 600 MWh of battery energy storage.

Power will be supplied from Brightnight’s Box Canyon Solar project located in Pinal County, Arizona, with the operational assets held jointly with Cordelio Power. The project recently cleared the permitting stage and is expected to become operational by 2025.

The project is expected to meet roughly 33% of SPPA’s peak capacity needs and 19% to 21% of SPPA’s total energy needs. It is expected to create more than 200 construction jobs and five permanent operations and maintenance jobs.

Box Canyon Solar is also expected to contribute more than $65 million to the K-12 educational trust through lease payments to the State of Arizona. BrighNight said the project garnered broad public support across the county following a community engagement campaign during the development process.

BrightNight CEO Martin Hermann said being selected for the partnership with SPPA was “emblematic of (our) customer-centric approach.” The company has an over 20 GW development portfolio across the United States and focus on creating renewable energy projects that create high-value jobs and generate power without added burden on local transportation and water infrastructure. The developer operates in both the United States and the Asia Pacific region.

BrightNight focuses on a hybrid model of clean energy, bringing together solar and battery energy storage and designing projects to be dispatchable, stable sources of power for the grid. The company said it has a long-term model of designing projects that suit the needs of a changing grid characterized by fossil fuel retirements, state portfolio requirements, increased electricity demand, and changing customer demand profiles.

The Box Canyon project represents the largest renewable energy investment by SPPA, a joint action agency that connects 21 constituencies, largely small utility companies. The organization served approximately 79,000 customers when it formed in 2014, spanning 41,732 square miles of rural Arizona.

“BrightNight was able to understand our long-term goals and propose a solution to meet the needs of our members and their customers, while remaining cost-effective,” said Dennis Delaney, SPPA project manager.

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