Trico Electric Cooperative, Torch Clean Energy and CoBank are partnering to construct a 10 megawatt photovoltaic solar generating facility along with a 15 megawatt battery storage system on Edwin Road west of North Oracle Road, within Pinal County. The solar and battery storage project is called the Chirreon Facility (Chirreon). Construction of Chirreon will begin in fall 2021 and is projected to be in service by mid-2022.
Chirreon will have over 40,000 photovoltaic solar panels, and the 15 megawatt battery storage system will be capable of discharging 30 MWh of energy. Chirreon will be located in the Trico service area on approximately 90 acres of land owned by the Arizona State Land Department. The solar panels have single-axis tracking devices that automatically track the sun throughout the day to maximize power generation. The battery storage will help Trico delay the cost of transmission and distribution upgrades and manage area load in a more efficient and cost-effective manner.
Once operational the Chirreon facility will produce more than 30,000 megawatt-hours of energy each year, or enough to power about 3,000 average residential homes in the Trico service territory.
“As a community-owned cooperative, Trico’s mission is to provide its Members safe, reliable energy in an environmentally responsible and cost-effective manner. The battery storage system at Chirreon will be one of the first for a cooperative in Arizona, and it exemplifies Trico’s commitment to achieving its mission and serving its Members in innovative ways.” said Brian Heithoff, CEO and General Manager of Trico.
“Torch is honored to continue its partnership with Trico as we embark on our second project with them to deliver more locally generated renewable energy for the community,” said Jon Kilberg of Torch. “Building the first energy storage system for an Arizona cooperative utility is a major milestone for both the Trico community and the state! We are proud to play a role in Trico’s development of solar energy capabilities as well as its transition to a green future.”
Through a long-standing partnership, CoBank provided the financing for this project.
“CoBank Farm Credit Leasing is honored to continue our relationship with Trico to finance this innovative solution that expands its affordable and solar energy options,” said Graham Kaiser, senior relationship manager for CoBank. “As a mission-driven lender, we look forward to the completion of this project and the ability for Trico to expand its service for Members in an environmentally responsible manner.”