Entergy New Orleans is planning a solar project that harnesses the power of the sun and stores it in batteries.

The 1 megawatt project, which will be built on company property off Chef Menteur Highway, will consist of more than 4,000 solar panels.

The pilot project is estimated to be in service by late 2016.

One megawatt is enough power to support 164 homes, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

“This project will allow us to study the feasibility of utility-scale solar here in New Orleans and also the extent to which battery storage can help compensate for the intermittency of sunlight,”said Charles Rice, president and CEO of Entergy New Orleans.

Battery storage will help Entergy balance peak sunlight between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. against peak power demand during late afternoons and help it deal with cloudy days.

“By combining solar panels with battery technology, we can evaluate the potential to technically and economically store and deliver solar energy to our customers when they need it most,” Rice said.

In September, the New Orleans City Council adopted a resolution and order establishing a procedural schedule to consider utility-scale renewable technologies as part of Entergy New Orleans’ planning process.

Every three years, Entergy New Orleans files a plan with the City Council that outlines how the company plans to meet customers’ future power needs. The next plan is scheduled for October.

Entergy New Orleans Inc. provides electricity to more than 171,000 customers and natural gas to some 105,000 customers.