Utility-scale battery storage took a major jump forward this month as Pacific Gas & Electric and Tesla began construction on a 182.5-MW lithium ion system in Monterey County, California.
PG&E will own the facility at its substation in Moss Landing, but the design, construction and maintenance operations will be joint effort both by the San Francisco-based utility and the battery and EV manufacturing giant. Once completed, the partners say, Moss Landing will be the largest utility-owned, li-ion battery energy storage system in the world.
“Battery energy storage plays an integral role in enhancing overall electric grid efficiency and reliability, integrating renewable resources while reducing reliance on fossil fuel generation. It can serve as an alternative to more expensive, traditional wires solutions, resulting in lower overall costs for our customers,” said Fong Wan, senior vice president, Energy Policy and Procurement, PG&E. “The scale, purpose and flexibility of the Moss Landing Megapack system make it a landmark in the development and deployment of utility-scale batteries.”
It includes installation of 256 Tesla Megapack battery units on 33 concrete slabs. The Megapack, which was launched by the company last year and is being made at the Tesla Gigafactory1 in Nevada (pictured), can store up to 3 MWh of electricity per unit.
Each unit houses batteries and power conversion equipment in a single cabinet. Transformers and switchgears will also be installed along with the Megapacks to connect energy stored in the batteries with the 115 kilovolt (kv) electric transmission system.
The BESS will have the capacity to store and dispatch up to 730 MWh of energy to the electrical grid at a maximum rate of 182.5 MW for up to four hours during periods of high demand. PG&E’s agreement with Tesla contains an upsize option that can increase the capacity of the system up to six hours or 1.1-GWh total.