APS Buys Energy Storage From AES for Less Than Half the Cost of a Transmission Upgrade

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Utility Arizona Public Service has contracted for a new grid-scale battery — not to demonstrate the technology, but because it’s a lot cheaper than the conventional alternative.

The company will purchase two 1-megawatt/4-megawatt-hour storage systems from AES for the small town of Punkin Center. This 600-person hamlet, 90 miles northeast of downtown Phoenix (and known for a bar with a prominent jack-o’-lantern sign) is bumping up against the limits of its distribution grid.

The traditional approach, which APS considered, would be to upgrade the 20 miles of 21-kilovolt cables that service the town. That requires construction through hilly

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