A Texas energy company is proposing to build the world’s largest utility-scale battery storage facility on the site of the old Morro Bay Power Plant. Vistra Energy presented its new proposal to the Morro Bay City Council on Jan. 26.
Earlier this year the company went online with the world’s largest utility-scale battery energy storage system in Moss Landing, Calif. It’s capable of storing and transferring 300 megawatts of electricity with its lithium-ion battery storage system at the Moss Landing Power Plant.
The proposal for Morro Bay is even larger. The company would like to build a 273,000-square-feet plant with lithium-ion batteries on 22-acres at the old power plant. It would be capable of storing 600 megawatts of electricity, the company says.
Utility-scale battery storage systems can store electricity produced by renewable energy sources like solar and wind farms or pulled directly from the electrical grid and then redistribute the power later as needed. A 1,000-megawatt wind farm with 100 turbines is being planned for the coastal waters 15-20 miles from Morro Bay.
Vistra Energy’s Morro Bay project could power 450,000 homes, more than three times the number of homes in San Luis Obispo County. The company would like to begin construction in 2022 and it would last for 36-48 months.
The company estimates it would pay $4.8 million in total annual property tax payment to San Luis Obispo County and employ up to 300 construction workers. Regular operations, once operating, would employ 15 permanent workers.