PUNKIN CENTER, Ariz. — Arizona’s largest utility plans to install battery storage systems to augment a small but growing rural community’s power supply instead of rebuilding 20 miles of lines to increase their capacity.

Arizona Public Service Co. says construction of two battery storage systems will begin in the fall in Punkin Center, which is 53 miles (85 kilometers) northeast of Phoenix.

APS says reduced costs of battery technology, Punkin Center’s rural location and technological benefits make the community a good fit for battery technology.

APS spokeswoman Annie DeGraw says the batteries will be needed 20 to 30 days annually to provide additional power during high demand periods, such as summer late afternoons and early evenings.

Existing lines serving Punkin Center will feed electricity to the batteries at night when demand is low.

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