Plans for the State of Idaho's First Large Scale Battery Storage Projects

Event Date:
Monday, May 9, 2022 - 8:00am

Published by T&D World

Article from T&D World publication written on May 9, 2022

A link to the full article can be found here.

"Idaho Power has announced plans to install 120 MW of battery storage, to come online next summer, which will help maintain reliable service during periods of high use while furthering the company’s goal of providing 100% clean energy by 2045.

The batteries would be the first utility-scale storage systems in Idaho.

“This is an exciting step for Idaho Power. Not only are we adding capacity to serve our customers, but  we are taking advantage of advancements in technology that will be key to our future. Battery storage enables us to use existing generation sources efficiently while setting the stage for more clean energy in the coming years,” said Adam Richins, senior vice president and chief operating officer, Idaho Power. 

The batteries are scheduled to come online by June 2023. A 40-MW system may be located at the proposed Black Mesa solar facility in Elmore County, although the company is still evaluating potential sites. The Hemingway substation near Melba is a viable location for the other 80 MW, although other options are being considered.

Idaho Power’s planning process shows the company needs additional capacity as early as summer 2023 to serve customers during peak hours, especially early evenings following hot summer days when irrigation pumps and air conditioners drive up electrical demand.

Although batteries don’t generate electricity, they can store power generated during periods of lower use and deliver it when customers need it. A 40-MW battery can power more than 13,000 average homes for four hours during periods of peak use, and more when energy demand is lower. The batteries can be completely recharged in about four hours, depending on their energy source.

Batteries also help to integrate renewable resources like solar and wind by supplying predictable power regardless of weather. That’s key to Idaho Power’s goal of providing 100% clean energy by 2045."