January 7, 2021 Read More →

Vistra begins commercial operation of world’s largest battery storage system in California

Energy Storage News:

The world’s largest battery energy storage system (BESS) so far has gone into operation in Monterey County, California, US retail electricity and power generation company Vistra said yesterday.

Phase 1 of Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility was connected to the power grid and began operating on 11 December 2020, at the site of Moss Landing Power Plant, a natural gas power station owned by Vistra since it acquired the facility’s previous owner, Dynegy in 2018.

At 300MW/1,200MWh, the BESS is considerably larger than the 250MW/250MWh Gateway Energy Storage project brought online earlier this year by LS Power, also in California. Not only that, but Phase 2 of Vistra’s project will add another 100MW / 400MWh and is scheduled for completion by August this year.

The site at Moss Landing then offers what Vistra called a “unique opportunity” to expand the project’s size and storage capacity even further: the company claimed that the industrial zone in which it sits offers the potential to support up to 1,500MW/6,000MWh of energy storage capacity, “should market and economic conditions support it”.

Phase 1 utilises more than 4,500 stacked battery racks, each of which contains 22 individual battery modules. The BESS is housed inside the gas power plants turbine buildings, which have been refurbished to host the new technology. The system takes surplus energy from the grid and helps the network to meet peak demand periods.

Vistra said that typically this will mean charging the batteries during daylight hours when solar generation output is at its highest in the area and output power back to the grid when solar production tails off in the evenings. The power company has signed contracts with California investor-owned utility (IOU) PG&E to use the output of Phase 1 and Phase 2 to meet resource adequacy requirements, in other words to help maintain stable, ample and reliable electricity supplies for the IOU’s customers.

[Andy Colthorpe]

More: At 300MW/1,200MWh, the world’s largest battery storage system so far is up and running

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