August 20, 2020 Read More →

LS Power brings world’s largest battery storage project online in California

Greentech Media:

Stealthy grid infrastructure developer LS Power now operates the largest grid battery in the world.

The Gateway Energy Storage project launched earlier this summer, with an initial tranche of 62.5 megawatts/62.5 megawatt-hours. That was enough to make it the most powerful battery in the U.S. But LS Power had more up its sleeve, and now Gateway can charge or discharge 230 megawatts for one hour, expected to rise to 250 megawatts by the end of the month.

That would be big news for the storage sector in any event, because it exceeds the previous largest battery, the Tesla-supplied Hornsdale plant (150 megawatts/193.5 megawatt-hours). But its arrival coincides with an energy crisis as California struggles to produce enough power to keep the grid running amid a historic heat wave.

California shut down enough power plant capacity in recent years that it now has trouble supplying air-conditioning demand on hot days in the hours when the sun sets and solar generation drops off. Meanwhile, imports from neighboring states have been constrained because those states are facing the same heat wave.

A wave of massive battery projects is under construction in California, many of which are designed to step in for the retiring gas and nuclear plants by shifting solar generation into the hours after sunset. Gateway is the first of this cohort to come online. It alone wields more power than all the other batteries connected to the grid managed by the California Independent System Operator.

“By charging during solar production on off-peak hours and delivering energy to the grid during times of peak demand for power, our battery storage projects improve electric reliability, reduce costs and help our state meet its climate objectives,” LS Power Head of Renewables John King said in a statement.

[Julian Spector]

More: LS Power energizes world’s biggest battery, just in time for California’s heat wave

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