Richland's New Solar and Battery Project
by Carissa Lehmkuhl
RICHLAND, Wash. -- Washington state’s first utility-scale solar and battery project is now online in Richland.
The Horn Rapids Solar, Storage & Training Project features more than 11,400 solar panels -- enough to power 600 homes. Additionally, it has 1 MW of battery storage that can provide energy to about 150 homes for four hours.
Construction on the project started in February, and a ribbon cutting was held on Tuesday, Nov. 10.
"Today is about the future," said Richland city council member Phil Lemley at Tuesday’s event. "Pairing solar and battery storage creates a more flexible source of energy for Richland."
The City of Richland will purchase the energy for its customers. Tucci Energy Services will own and operate the solar portion of the project, while Energy Northwest will own and operate the battery storage system.
"The message I hope it sends is that we can do this working together," said Brad Sawatzke, CEO of Energy Northwest. "It’s going to take a complete mix to get that carbon-free footprint."
Energy Northwest currently owns and operates a variety of clean electricity generating resources: hydro, solar, battery storage and wind projects, and the third-largest provider of electricity in Washington -- the Columbia Generating Station nuclear power facility.
In addition to the battery system and solar field, the facility will also offer a training program for solar and battery storage technicians.
The unveiling of the Horn Rapids facility comes just after Colorado-based Scout Clean Energy announced plans to submit an application for site certification for a similar facility in Benton County. The proposed Horse Heaven Wind Farm would combine wind energy, solar energy and battery storage.
Gov. Inslee has signed legislation to put Washington on a pathway to carbon-neutral electricity by 2030 and 100 percent clean electricity by 2045.
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