Key takeaways


he future of energy is changing rapidly, and Arizona is all set to race ahead with its most ambitious energy storage project so far—the Papago Storage. This venture, backed by a substantial $513 million in funds, is not just set to boost Arizona's environmental efforts but also to pave the way for similar initiatives around the country. In this piece, we’ll look at the importance of Papago Storage, the perks it brings, and why energy storage is becoming the new black in renewable energy.

A Closer Look at the Project

Project Overview

Papago Storage, located in Arizona's Maricopa County, is a bold initiative set to become a standout in the renewable energy field. With a staggering capacity of 1,200 MWh, it's expected to dispatch enough electricity to keep approximately 244,000 homes up and running for four hours every day. The project runs on advanced battery technology called e-Storage SolBank, which uses lithium-ferro-phosphate to deliver consistent power, including efficient solar energy.

Papago Storage project location

Papago Storage project location. Source: Recurrent Energy

Financing and Ownership

The financing of the Papago Storage project closed at an impressive $513 million. Here's the breakdown:

  • $249 million construction and term loan.
  • $163 million tax equity bridge loan.
  • $101 million letter of credit facility.

MUFG and Nord/LB spearheaded the coordination efforts, with joint lead arrangers such as Bank of America, CoBank, DNB, Rabobank, Siemens Financial Services, and Zions. This smart financial planning guarantees the project’s solid foundation and successful end goal.

Timeline and Agreements

Recurrent Energy is set to kick off construction in the third quarter of 2024, aiming to be fully operational by the second quarter of 2025. A solid 20-year tolling agreement with Arizona Public Service Company (APS) keeps this project on firm ground, ensuring that it will be a long-term part of Arizona's power scene.

Rise of Energy Storage

The world of renewables is getting a major makeover as battery storage climbs up the charts for green energy solutions. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that the battery storage capacity in the U.S. will almost double by 2024, adding a robust 14.3 GW to the current 15.5 GW. The reason? Lowering solar panel cost over time, improved tax benefits, and a growing understanding of how battery storage can level up our energy grid stability.

Energy storage systems, such as Papago Storage, offer several key advantages:

  • Grid Stability: Think of these systems as energy bank accounts. They collect and store any leftover energy when production is high, but when the demand spikes, they release it back into the grid. This way, they help maintain a steady and trustworthy power supply.
  • Cost Efficiency: Energy storage can reduce the need for expensive grid infrastructure upgrades and lower electricity costs for consumers.
  • Environmental Benefits: With battery storage systems, we're actually helping to increase the use of renewable energy, especially the most efficient solar power. This cuts our reliance on fossil fuels.

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Why is Papago Storage a Big Deal for Arizona?

Arizona is a major player in renewable energy, with a robust solar market that ranks fifth in the nation. The state currently boasts around 8,500 MW of installed solar capacity, which is enough to keep the lights on in over 1.3 million homes. With Papago Storage on board, Arizona is boosting its green game even more by providing much-needed storage for the state’s abundant and efficient solar energy.

The project's impact is more than meets the eye. It is set to create 200 jobs during its construction, giving a substantial economic boost to Maricopa County. It will also create long-term renewable energy jobs, developing a skilled local workforce.

Ismael Guerrero, CEO of Recurrent Energy, mentioned that when they started Papago Storage in 2016, Arizona’s storage market was just beginning. Today, Arizona has become one of the fastest-growing energy storage markets in the U.S., thanks to its booming economy and low-cost renewable energy. He commented, "Today, we are thrilled to see nearly a decade of planning culminate in the financing of what will be the largest energy storage project in Arizona."


The Papago Storage venture is undeniably a game-changer in Arizona's quest for renewable energy. This project, with its impressive capability, state-of-the-art tech, and robust financial backing, stands on the cusp of redefining energy storage in the Grand Canyon State and beyond. For solar energy enthusiasts, this is a milestone worth celebrating and supporting.


Key takeaways

  • Significant Funding: Papago Storage project in Arizona secures $513 million in funding.
  • Project Overview: Located in Maricopa County, it will have a capacity of 1,200 MWh, powering 244,000 homes for four hours daily.
  • Advanced Technology: Uses e-Storage SolBank with lithium-ferro-phosphate batteries for consistent power delivery.
  • Detailed Financing Breakdown: Includes $249 million construction and term loan, $163 million tax equity bridge loan, and $101 million letter of credit facility.
  • Strong Financial Coordination: Led by MUFG and Nord/LB, with support from Bank of America, CoBank, DNB, Rabobank, Siemens Financial Services, and Zions.
  • Construction Timeline: Starts in Q3 2024, operational by Q2 2025.
  • Long-term Agreement: 20-year tolling agreement with Arizona Public Service Company (APS).
  • Rising Energy Storage: U.S. battery storage capacity to nearly double by 2024.
  • Grid Stability and Cost Efficiency: Energy storage enhances grid reliability and reduces costs.
  • Environmental Benefits: Promotes renewable energy use, reducing fossil fuel dependence.
  • Economic Impact: Creation of 200 construction jobs and long-term renewable energy jobs in Maricopa County.
  • Arizona’s Renewable Energy Leadership: Boosts Arizona's status as a leading state in renewable energy.
Jul 5, 2024
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