Utility Company Unveils Plan to Increase Renewable Energy

Widespread renewable energy may soon be on its way to Arizona. On Thursday, a public utility shared a new initiative that would allow solar energy to be easily stored and saved, even being accessible after nightfall.

The utility, Arizona Public Service, is adding the ability to an already existing set of solar panels. Their aim is to help their customers access clean energy during peak service hours.

“APS is fifth in the nation for solar produced and the state of Arizona is second in the nation – so we’ve got a lot of solar generated during the day and then it’s going to waste,” says the director of technology innovation, Scott Bordenkircher.

“This combination of storage with those renewable resources allows us to take that energy from during the day, to put it in a battery and use it at night when the sun is down.”

At the moment, the company’s aim is to provide customers with energy that uses 50 percent renewable energy, and they want to increase that amount by the year 2025.

The initiative will add a large amount of megawatts for battery storage, around 850, and another 100 megawatts of additional solar energy. This would add 950 megawatts to the current amount of clean energy being harvested by the solar panels.

“Arizona has so much renewable energy available between solar, wind and also (the) Palo Verde Power Plant,” Bordenkircher says.

“It’s s a huge clean energy resource that we have here in the Valley. Sometimes we don’t have a use for that energy during the day — now we can store it and use it at night, which is a great carbon free mix that can be used fully.”