Roadrunner Reserve energy storage system to be one of largest in Arizona


Arizona utility Tucson Electric Power (TEP) is the owner of the Roadrunner Reserve project, a new energy storage facility being built by DEPCOM Power.

“Roadrunner Reserve will help us maintain reliability as we ambitiously but responsibly expand our community’s renewable resources,” said Susan Gray, TEP’s President and CEO. “This new system will be particularly important in helping us satisfy peak energy needs during the summer.”

Canadian Solar’s e-Storage has been awarded the supply and integration contract for 1 GWh DC of energy storage solutions for DEPCOM Power, Inc. and TEP. E-Storage is part of the Company’s majority-owned subsidiary CSI. DEPCOM Power is a Koch Engineered Solutions Company that operates solar development, EPC, O&M and energy storage and repowering services.

e-Storage will deliver its proprietary energy storage solution SolBank to the project, which has rated storage capacity of 800 MWh AC.

SolBank, which was announced at RE+ in 2022, is a proprietary, containerized energy storage system that uses high-cycle lithium-ferro-phosphate (LFP) batteries with a 2.8 MWh energy capacity. LFP chemistry has been found to cut the risk of thermal runaway that can be a problem in other lithium-based battery systems.

The battery enclosure contains liquid cooling mechanisms and humidity control, and active balancing battery management systems. The company said the technology complies with the latest international safety standards and features multi-level fire safety management systems, incorporating state-of-the-art monitoring and control systems and active cell balancing.

TEP expects to charge the grid-connected battery in the morning and early afternoon, when solar resources are most productive, then deliver stored energy later in the day when customers’ energy use is typically highest. The system will be built next to a southeast-side TEP substation.

Roadrunner will be the largest energy storage system on the TEP energy grid and among the largest in Arizona, the utility reports. Once operational, the energy storage project will serve up to approximately 42,000 homes for a four-hour duration.

In August Canadian Solar announced that e-Storage will deliver 1,200 MWh (1,519 MWh dc nominal) of energy storage solutions to Recurrent Energy’s Papago Storage project in Arizona, which will be the largest standalone storage project in Arizona.

The Papago project is scheduled to be in service in late 2024 and the Road Runner Reserve System project is scheduled to begin operations in the summer of 2025.

To date, e-Storage has implemented over 3.3 GWh DC of battery energy storage solutions across the United States, Canada, the UK, and China, bringing its total installed capacity and contracted pipeline to 12.4 GWh DC.

Roadrunner Reserve aligns with TEP’s 2020 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which planned to reduce carbon emissions 80% and add up to 1,400 MW of energy storage by 2035. TEP will file its next IRP on Nov. 1, 2023.

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