With 7,000 MW of battery energy storage projects, EPSA member companies are paving a path for renewable energy to be reliably and efficiently integrated to the grid.
EPSA member companies – America’s competitive power suppliers – are lighting up energy markets with some of today’s leading battery storage projects – proving that competition delivers innovation.
As interest grows in renewable energy technology, battery storage projects are part of the toolkit for a reliable energy transition. These systems are emerging as one of the innovative solutions to effectively integrate more solar and wind in power systems, and EPSA member companies are rising to the challenge with more than 7,000 MW of battery storage on the grid or in development.
A battery storage system is a type of power station used to store excess electrical energy in real-time as it’s produced, allowing the power to be used later, particularly to support grid reliability to meet short-term peak power demand. As more solar and wind energy is added to the grid, additional reliable resources are needed to ensure power is available when the sun sets or the wind doesn’t blow.
Top Competitive Battery Projects By the Numbers
EPSA member company LS Power has been at the forefront of battery energy storage development, with the two largest battery projects in the U.S. operating in California. In August of 2020, LS Power energized the 250 MW Gateway Energy Storage project, which surpassed Tesla’s previous 150 MW project in Australia. Another LS Power battery project, the 40 MW Vista Energy Storage in California, has been operating since 2018 and was previously the largest battery in the US.
LS Power has additional battery storage projects in development or construction in California and New York, including the Diablo Energy Storage (200 MW) and LeConte Energy Storage (125 MW) projects in California, and the Ravenswood Energy Storage (316 MW) in Queens, New York. In total, LS Power has an astonishing 4,000 MW of battery energy storage projects in development.
Vistra Corp., another EPSA member company and the largest competitive power supplier in the nation, announced that its development of a massive battery storage project will get even bigger. Phase I of the Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility is set to go online with a 300-MW/1,200-MWh system this December; Phase II will add another 100 MW/400MWh by August 2021. But it doesn’t stop there – future phases could bring another 1,000 MW of storage to this site.
In 2018, the company began operating its first battery, pairing it with its solar facility in Texas. Vistra also expects other projects, totaling nearly 300 MW/405 MWh, to come online in 2022 in Oakland and Texas.
Most recently, EPSA member Tenaska announced an agreement with Capital Dynamics to develop nine battery energy storage system (BESS) projects located in California’s highest electrical load centers. Combined, the nine projects will provide approximately 2,000 MW of clean energy into the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) market.
Reliable, Resilient Power Is Paramount
Recently, we saw the importance of planning for reliability and providing appropriate resources to support intermittent energy. For the first time in two decades, California grid operators issued rolling blackouts as the system struggled to meet high demand driven by heat waves, shifts in energy use due to Covid-19, and insufficient supply to meet the reliability demands of the system. With more people at home cranking up their air conditioning to stay cool, particularly during the evening hours when solar power is less available, the state’s power system was pushed to its brink – even as Californians were asked to conserve energy. As California has retired firm, reliable generating capacity, including thousands of megawatts of natural gas and nuclear plants over the past several years, it has chosen to rely on power generation from other states to fill the gap – but in this case those states were unable to supply their much needed resources.
Over Labor Day Weekend, California yet again experienced significant stress to the power grid. San Francisco-based Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) announced it planned to shut off lines connecting about 172,000 customer accounts with the threat of high temperatures and wildfires blazing across the state. Smoke from wildfires unfortunately also further complicated the availability of solar generation.
While many factors played a role in the blackouts California experienced, one thing is certain – EPSA members are rising to the challenge to provide Californians with reliable electricity when they need it most with more than 12,400 MW of power generation capacity in the state. From efficient natural gas fleets and Calpine’s geothermal power plants at The Geysers to cutting-edge battery technology, all resources have a role to play in our evolving energy mix.
Nimble Markets Drive Innovation
EPSA member companies have followed market signals to improve operations and efficiency, as well as to retire older power generation technology and invest in newer, more cost effective and cleaner approaches. That’s because markets allow grid operators and investors to respond nimbly to changes like declining natural gas and renewable prices or shifts in demand or reliability needs.
Our nation’s energy landscape is changing rapidly with exciting new potential for cleaner, more reliable and affordable power. Competitive power suppliers are uniquely positioned to lead investment in new technology and innovative approaches to electricity generation.
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