BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Power will install 120 megawatts of battery storage, the first utility-scale storage system in Idaho.
The batteries don't generate electricity, but store power during periods of low use, according to Idaho Power. The company will need additional capacity as early as next summer during peak hours. Idaho Power officials said a 40 megawatt battery can power more than 13,000 homes for four hours during peak use and more when demand is lower. The batteries can be recharged in roughly four hours, depending on the energy source.
“This is an exciting step for Idaho Power. Not only are we adding capacity to serve our customers, but we are taking advantage of advancements in technology that will be key to our future. Battery storage enables us to use existing generation sources efficiently while setting the stage for more clean energy in the coming years,” said Adam Richins, Idaho Power Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in a statement.
The batteries are scheduled to come online by June 2023. Idaho Power is still evaluating potential sites for the project. A 40 megawatt system could be located at the Black Mesa Solar facility in Elmore County, while the remaining 80 megawatts could be located at the Hemingway substation near Melba.
Idaho Power has filed a request with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, which will determine whether the proposal is in public interest.
Idaho Power's most recent plan calls for nearly 1,700 of battery storage by 2040.