by Steve Hanley, Clean Technica
February 15, 2018
Bloomberg reports that the combination of solar power plants and grid scale battery storage is now cheaper than natural gas and utility companies all across the US are starting to notice. First Solar has recently won a contract to supply Arizona Public Service, the state’s largest utility company, with electricity during the hours of 3 pm and 8 pm when demand for electricity is highest.
Previously, peaker plants powered by natural gas were used for that purpose, but First Solar underbid all other competitors. To fulfill the terms of the contract, it will construct a 65 megawatt solar power plant and supplement it with a 50 megawatt battery capable of supplying the needs of 16,500 homes for up to 3 hours, according to AZCentral, an affiliate of USA Today. The new system is expected to be operation in 2021.