SURPRISE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – The Arizona Public Service battery storage facility that exploded Friday, injuring four Peoria firefighters, is part of the energy company’s clean-energy project.
APS explained the battery storage facility located near Grand Avenue and Deer Valley Road in Surprise stores unused power generated from homes with solar panels, allowing APS customers to use solar energy even after the sun goes down.
According to APS spokeswoman Suzanne Trevino, it’s been in operation for about two years. She explained a wall from the substation separates the battery storage facility.
The explosion didn’t damage the substation. If it did, Trevino said thousands of customers could’ve been at risk of losing power.
Even though APS has not determined the cause of Friday’s explosion, the energy company continues to move forward with plans to build more battery storage facilities, Trevino stated Monday.
Trevino referred to a Feb. 21, 2019 APS news release detailing the clean energy project.
“APS will add battery storage to its existing fleet of solar plants, build new solar plants with storage and use storage to deliver cleaner energy to customers at times of peak energy use,” stated the news release.
There are a total of three APS battery storage facilities in the state, according to Trevino. She said it includes the one investigated in Surprise; the other two like it are located in Buckeye and near Payson.
Another APS news release explained the company plans to add nearly a gigawatt of new clean-energy projects by the summer of 2025.
“That’s the equivalent of adding the power of more than 3 million solar panels or more than 9,000 electric cars to Arizona’s energy mix,” APS said.
APS has launched an investigation to determine what caused its battery storage facility to explode.
The state agency that regulates workplace safety, the Arizona Division of Occupational Health and Safety (ADOSH), confirms it’s also investigating the explosion. However, spokesman Trevor Laky said the agency had not been to that particular site before this incident.
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