Remember the epic Aliso Canyon methane gas spill that displaced more than 8,000 Californians and released an unprecedented 1.6 million pounds of methane into the atmosphere last year? As a result of the leak, authorities closed the Aliso Canyon natural gas distribution facility. Until the leak was discovered, that plant supplied natural gas to several area “peaker plants.” Those are electric generating facilities that are pressed into service only when the demand for electricity exceeds available supply. Now the world’s largest grid storage facility will take over for those peaker plants.
Following the leak, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency. In May, the California Public Utilities Commission mandated an accelerated procurement process for grid storage. Southern California Edison, among other utilities, was directed to solicit a utility scale grid storage solution that could be operational by December 31, 2016.
Because of the ability of Tesla’s Gigafactory‘s ability to manufacture, ship, install, and commission a large number of grid storage battery packes in under three months, it has been chosen to provice a 20 megawatt/80 megawatt-hour Powerpack system at the Southern California Edison’s Mira Loma substation in Ontario, California. The system is expected to be operating before the end of this year.
Because of the ability to store large amounts of electricity, those peaker plants will no longer be needed and the emissions they are responsible for will not be added to the local environment. The battery storage facility will reduce the area’s exposure to rolling blackouts during the cool winter months, when natural gas for home heating competes with the demand from natural gas fired electric generating plants.
Unlike traditional generating facilities, battery storage plants require no water supply and have no waste water requirements. The Tesla Gigafactory is the largest factory in the world to have zero carbon emissions and to be a new zero consumer of electricity for the production process.
Upon completion, this battery storage facitlity near Los Angeles will be the largest lithium ion battery storage project in the world. When fully charged, this system will hold enough energy to power more than 2,500 households for a day or charge 1,000 Tesla vehicles.
Source: Electric Cars Report Photo credit: Tesla