$6.5M project marries solar power, battery storage, training in Richland

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Construction work has started on a $6.5 million project that will include a 4-megawatt solar generating array and a 1-megawatt battery energy storage system in north Richand.

The project will supply power and energy storage to Richland residents. And it will give the visitor industry a boost too. A solar and battery tech training center to be built next to the facility promises to bring hundreds of energy workers to the area for training every year.

The Horn Rapids Solar, Storage & Training Project is expected to come online this summer.

It is a joint venture of Energy Northwest, Potelco Inc., Tucci Energy Services, the Washington Department of Commerce, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the city of Richland.

The solar generating system will produce enough energy to power 600 homes. The battery system can power 150 homes for up to four hours.

“Our mission is to provide energy solutions that help the northwest customers,” said Greg Cullen, general manager for Energy Northwest’s Energy Services and Development.

Richland Energy Services, the utility provider in the city, will buy the energy and battery storage capabilities, brining it closer to meeting Washington’s renewable ad carbon-free energy targets.

The training center will offer instruction on a variety of topics related to solar and battery energy—plant construction, operations, maintenance, safety and hazard prevention.

Potelco Inc. is building the project. Tucci Energy Services will own the solar portion of the project and Energy Northwest will own and operate the battery storage system. PNNL will provide monitoring and analytical services.

The state Department of Commerce is supporting the project with a Clean Energy Fund grant worth up to $3 million.

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