Client Signal Energy (Construction Contractor) / E.ON (Developer and Owner)
Location University of Arizona Science & Technology Park, Tucson, Arizona
Scope 10 MW/2.5 MWh Energy Storage and 2 MWac PV array

Iron Horse Energy Storage & Solar

Project Details

Westwood’s Role

  • Electrical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Structural Engineering/Foundation Design
  • Water Resources
  • Surveying
  • Construction Support


The University of Arizona’s Science & Technology Park (UA Tech Park) in Tucson, Arizona is home to multiple solar research projects. The Iron Horse Energy Storage & Solar project is the UA Tech Park’s Solar Zone's first installation to be accompanied by an energy storage system. Westwood was proud to play an integral role in this innovative project which is at the forefront of integrating storage with solar.

Managing Flood Waters

The project’s civil and electrical design challenges included developing a site adjacent to a major drainageway as well as crossing a roadway that runs through the site. Our team used an iterative process, performing multiple grading schemes in an effort to minimize grading, while keeping the flood waters outside of the PV array.

Taking Charge on Code and Review Process

Also, UA Tech Park is a state-owned entity and as such acted as its own Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), rather than Pima County. It does not have its own plan review process, therefore Westwood was wholly responsible for adherence to and interpretation of all applicable codes. Our team managed and implemented stakeholder inputs to create a safe and cost-efficient installation.

Meeting Local Energy Demand

In addition to the PV array, the project included a 10 MW/2.5 MWh lithium titanate oxide storage facility, which is an innovative way to store the solar energy and release it when needed to support grid stability. Tucson Electric Power is planning to use Iron Horse for improved reliability and to study the benefits of storage in an area with high temperatures and high solar penetration.

Westwood provided the civil work and foundation design for the battery installation, managed the design of the circuits from the batteries to the inverters, provided low-voltage power to the battery containers, and worked out a unique grounding method for the battery disconnects.