Battery Energy Storage Facility proposed for Alamosa County

RWE proposes building a Battery Energy Storage facility on Lane 8N in Alamosa County. Courier photo by John Waters.

Open house Wednesday, March 22 at Elks Lodge

ALAMOSA – A proposal is in the works to build a Battery Energy Storage facility to be located northwest of Mosca on Lane 8N, east of CR 6 in Alamosa County. The company proposing the project is RWE, one of the largest renewable energy companies in the United States.

According to Matthew Ryan, RWE’s manager of energy storage development, RWE owns and operates some of the most efficient, highest performing renewable energy projects in the United States, including onshore wind, PV solar, and energy storage, and have developed and constructed more than 5,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable capacity in the USA since 2007.

For the purposes of informing the public, RWE is hosting an open house event at the Elks Lodge in Alamosa on Wednesday, March 22 from 4pm to 6pm where people are invited to stop by to learn about the project and ask questions. Light refreshments will be served.

Battery Energy Storage facility may be a term new to many (as it was to this reporter), so the Valley Courier reached out to Ryan with a few basic questions to provide some background.

When asked to describe exactly what the facility is, Ryan said, “Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) are facilities that enable energy from renewables, like wind and solar, to be stored and then released at times when consumers need it most. The primary technology used in these facilities is lithium-ion batteries, similar to what is used in cell phones or electric cars.”

When asked about the scope and impact of the project, Ryan said, “The Alamosa BESS site will have an approximate 17.5 acre footprint and will support 95 megawatts of battery storage. Approximately 225 electric battery storage containers for lithium-ion batteries will be housed on the site (45 feet long x 8 feet wide x 8 feet tall). Construction will last approximately 6-7 months and will employ approximately 70 laborers. Once operational, the project will support one full time job.”

Ryan was also asked if RWE already has a contract with a company to provide the energy that will be stored at the facility.

“RWE does not have any offtake agreements signed with the project. RWE hopes to enter into contract with Xcel Energy or a similar load serving entity. Currently, Xcel Energy is undergoing a request for proposal process where they would hope to procure solar, wind, storage and projects of the like.”

Asked if the facility will provide power to the community or something that is larger, such as utility company scale, Ryan said, “This project will be utility-scale serving the regionalized electric grid versus the localized distribution system.”

When asked if operation of the facility is water consumptive, Ryan said that storage does not require significant water usage. RWE plans to truck in water to be stored on site and used for general cleaning and maintenance and for fire suppression systems.

Ryan was also asked why Alamosa was chosen as the site for the project. He responded that Alamosa is extremely sun rich, making it ideal for solar, although solar’s energy dispatch profile is made better when paired with storage.

“If you think about, solar can produce and deliver electricity when the sun is shining. A battery energy storage system (BESS) would be able to charge from the electric grid and then discharge that power after the sun goes down when folks are turning on their TVs, lamps and charging their phones after a long day.

“While energy exports and imports from solar and other generators have been historically limited in the valley, Xcel Energy is making strong advancements to permit and construct new transmission infrastructure in the San Luis Valley, making it one of the most attractive solar and storage regions in Colorado.”

Those interested in going to the open house and asking more questions, in person, are welcome to show up at the Elks Lodge located at 406 Hunt Avenue in Alamosa. Additional information, along with a link to provide feedback on the project, is also available at