By Julia Lerner
Cascadia Daily News 

Three controversial battery energy storage facilities proposed in Skagit


Last updated 12/1/2022 at 11am

Hailey Hoffman, Cascadia Daily News

An electrical substation in Sedro-Woolley could be the future home of a battery energy storage facility if Skagit County planners give the project the green light.

As demand on the electric grid continues to rise and state mandates on clean energy use inch closer, utility providers are scrambling to find alternative storage options for clean energy products.

The Washington Clean Energy Transformation Act requires the state's electricity supply to be free from greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, marking a significant shift from traditional coal, oil and gas. But in order to reach that goal, companies need to find ways to make clean energy projects available on demand.

Clean energy from wind and solar projects is not available at the flip of a switch the way traditional gas and oil products are, but companies like Puget Sound Energy and Tenaska are trying to change that through major energy storage projects, like the proposed Goldeneye Project in Sedro-Woolley.

The facility, designed to be an "unobtrusive" battery storage complex across 14.14 acres of land in Skagit County, would "charge" using solar and wind power during periods of high production, and "discharge" when energy production is low.

"[This] project is a proposed reliability solution that will ensure local power is always available by adding new firm, clean dispatchable energy and capacity to the local electrical grid," said Tim Hemig, senior vice president of development at Tenaska, the company responsible for the project proposal.

"The availability of firm dispatchable power in Sedro-Woolley will be increasingly important as utilities continue the transition to intermittent clean energy sources such as wind and solar," he added.

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