From Energy Northwest:
Integration of Large-Scale Solar
The Horn Rapids Solar, Storage & Training Project in Richland provides Washington state its first opportunity to integrate a utility-scale solar and storage facility into its clean mix of hydro, nuclear and wind resources. This facility combines solar generation with battery storage and technician training.
The site is just north of Richland, on land owned by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. The project will be a 4-megawatt electric, 20-acre solar generating array of photovoltaic panels that will provide enough energy to power 600 Richland homes. The project will also include a 1-MW battery storage system; and serve as a training ground for solar and battery technicians throughout the nation. The combination of photovoltaic solar with battery storage will provide a predictable, renewable generating resource.
During September 2018 the City of Richland agreed to be the power off-taker of the project. Final approval of the project and participants agreement was granted by the Energy Northwest board of directors and executive board in October 2018.
Construction & Costs
Energy Northwest’s portion of the project is $6.5 million, with a $3 million grant from the state Department of Commerce’ Clean Energy Fund.
Construction began in February 2020 and is expected to be complete by mid-2020.
Potelco, a utility construction company based in Sumner, near Seattle, will build the Tucci Energy Services’ owned 4-megawatt solar portion of the project. Power from the project will supply the battery system and, through interconnection with the city of Richland’s energy distribution system, will be a source of energy for local loads.
Energy Northwest will own and operate the co-located battery storage system. The system will smooth the solar output, shift off-peak solar energy generation to times when the energy is needed, and help reduce peak energy demand. The 1-megawatt electric, 4-megawatt-hour system has the capability to power 150 homes for four hours.
Adjacent to the project, a training program will be established for solar and battery storage technicians. Training will cover plant construction, operations, maintenance, and safety and hazard prevention. Hundreds of workers from throughout the United States are expected to train annually in the program.
The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland will monitor and analyze data from the project to develop improved battery designs and advanced tools for forecasting load, price, and solar in-feed.