New energy project powers up in Richland

Horn Rapids Solar, Storage & Training Project is now energized in north Richland.

The utility-scale solar and battery project was turned on in early November and produces 4 megawatts, enough to support 600 homes. The additional
1MW battery storage system can support 150 homes for up to four hours.

Construction of the $6.5 million project billed as Washington’s first utility-scale solar and battery operation began in February.

The city of Richland, which operates its own electric utility, is buying the energy as well as battery storage capabilities.

The Horn Rapids Solar, Storage & Training Project in Richland is a 4MW direct current solar array combined with a 1MW battery energy storage system. Power from the project is provided to the city of Richland. (Courtesy Energy Northwest)

The 20-acre project includes 11,400 solar panels paired with battery storage and is located seven miles north of the city on Horn Rapids Road. The mix of energy and battery power will help the city meet peak demand while pursuing the state’s carbon-free energy requirements, it said in a press release.

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

Tucci, based in Seattle, owns and operates the solar system. Energy Northwest owns and operates the battery storage system.

PNNL is monitoring and analyzing data from the project to evaluate the financial benefits of incorporating battery storage and to improve battery designs.

The project was funded in part by a $3 million grant from the state’s Clean Energy Fund, which is managed by the Department of Commerce.

The site is leased from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 77.

Washington state generates more than 60% of its power through hydroelectric facilities, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Natural gas and nuclear energy were second and third, with renewables other than hydroelectric and coal coming in fourth and fifth.

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