Solana is not the first renewable energy plant with storage; several have added banks of electric batteries. But battery storage is so expensive that these have been used mostly to smooth the output of the plant, not to store huge amounts overnight. Batteries are expensive and have a limited lifetime. They are more economical in a car, where they help electricity substitute for something more expensive, like gasoline. But for utilities, they are nowhere near cheap enough to justify using them to avoid buying high-priced, late-afternoon electricity.
Library filed under Technology from Arizona
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- A publicly owned Arizona utility is on the hunt for investors who will share its dream of restarting a shuttered coal-fired power plant in the Nevada desert that was abandoned by its other owners. Phoenix-based Salt River Project is working to build a new ownership group to buy and upgrade the 1,580-megawatt Mohave Generating Station. The plant, in Laughlin, Nev. near the Arizona border, was shut in December because its owners hadn't installed pollution control equipment required under a court-approved consent decree. The plant also faced other problems, including expiring coal and water supply contracts. To resolve a lawsuit by environmentalists concerned about the harmful effects of pollution from Mohave on wildlife at the nearby Grand Canyon National Park, the plant's owners agreed to either install pollution-control equipment or shut the plant by the end of 2005.