Idaho Power asking to build 120 MW battery

Not sure whether this is the right category, but:

Standard 4 hours battery (rather, 4.something hours), but 120MW is sizable. It’s 3.2% the all time max demand of 3745MW reached last year, during the Portland-and-Seattle-are-hotter-than-Las-Vegas-has-ever-been-ever heat wave. And 40% the size of the Langley Gulch Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) near Payette.

I wonder why they need more peaking capacity in Idaho Falls than closer to Boise, but maybe it has to do with transmission bottlenecks.

In case of paywall:
Idaho Power (NYSE: IDA) is turning to a Portland-area battery energy storage system company to help meet a looming power capacity deficit.

The Boise-based electricity utility announced two contracts with Powin totaling 120 megawatts of generating capacity.

Powin, which has offices in Portland and Tualatin, has grown in the last five years to become one of the nation’s largest grid-scale battery companies. It was No. 2 on the Business Journal’s list of fastest-growing private companies from 2018 to 2020 as revenue rose from $18 million to $114 million, and had about 130 Oregon-based employees as of early this year.

The Idaho projects would be Powin’s first really big systems in the Pacific Northwest — most have come in California, Texas and the Northeast — although more could be on the way as utilities in the region pursue decarbonization mandates that make storage increasingly necessary. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

Powin early this year announced its latest-generation battery system will be assembled in Mexico as it shifts and consolidates production closer to home — and customer projects — from Asia.

Idaho Power attributed a 101-megawatt capacity shortfall to population growth and transmission constraints. Air conditioning and irrigation are prime drivers of summer demand for the utility. It expects to charge the batteries early in the day, then discharge them to meet demand in the evening when solar wanes and wind power is typically minimal.

Powin said the 120 megawatts of batteries would be able to store 524 megawatt-hours of electricity, giving Idaho Power about four hours of maximum output.

Idaho Power is asking the Idaho Public Utilities Commission for approval to acquire the battery systems. Because the utility’s service territory nudges into eastern Oregon, it’s also asking the Oregon Public Utility Commission for an exception to state competitive bidding guidelines to do the deals.

That’s a respectable system!

I’m fairly certain they have a lot of “cross system interconnect” capacity, and are building more out over time (they want to be able to pass power from the Columbia River complex out east, and the B2H interconnect is helping with that), so I’d expect that by Twin Falls can still service Boise loads.

They’ve also got some good size solar fields out that way, I think. At least towards Mountain Home there are a couple big ones.