Tesla, SoCalEd unveil energy storage plant - Smart Energy Decisions

Demand Management, Energy Storage, Industrial, Utilities  -  February 1, 2017

Tesla hits start on 80 MWh energy storage facility

Photo of the Mira Loma Battery Storage Project provided by Southern California Edison. 

Tesla Motors Inc., alongside Edison International utility subsidiary Southern California Edison, has brought online what is being called the world's largest battery storage plant. 

The project's lithium ion batteries can be charged when demand is low and store up to 80 MWh, enough energy to power 2,500 households for a day, according to a Jan. 30 statement from SoCalEd. The system is one of three huge storage plants that have been developed along the same timeline and represent a maturation of battery technology; until now, systems of this scale have only been used in pilot projects, as Bloomberg News reported Jan. 30.  

"Storage is quite a new thing ... and this is a different breed of battery," Tesla Chief Technical Officer JB Straubel said in a statement. "This is the tip of the iceberg of how much storage we'll see on the grid."

The battery storage project, located next to SoCalEd's Mira Loma substation, was completed quickly after the California Public Utilities Commission in May of 2016 directed the utility to expedite the use of energy storage connected to the grid to mitigate for the loss of natural gas storage caused by a monthslong leak at Sempra Energy subsidiary Southern California Gas Company's Aliso Canyon.  That leak, which released tens of thousands of metric tons of methane into the California air, has been called the worst man-made greenhouse-gas disaster in U.S. history. 

With the ability of the batteries to charge when there is more renewable energy than demand, and supply that energy to customers during peak hours, the utility says the project will enable greater use of clean energy technologies and will help California meet its energy and climate change goals.

The battery storage contains two 10 MW systems, each containing 198 Tesla Powerpacks and 24 inverters, according to the utility. The modular system allows it to be connected to two separate circuits at the Mira Loma substation.

Keywords: SoCalEd, tesla

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