Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has unveiled a massive battery storage facility in the California desert. Together with Southern California Edison, the automaker joins in the league of AES and Altagas, which have also built some of the largest facilities on earth. This is perhaps the largest lithium-ion battery storage project in the world having cost $5 billion. It spreads out across 1.5 acres hosting 396 stacks of Tesla Powerpack units.
The presence of Tesla Powerpack is a great reminder of how quickly technology is revolving bringing an overhaul change to the electric power industry. The system will now serve as the backup against projected energy shortages, which occur often as a result of methane leak at a natural gas facility near Los Angeles. The batteries have a storage capacity of up to 80-megawatt hours or better still, enough energy to maintain close to 15,000 homes for four hours.
The project is part of a vision of operating a flexible grid that delivers clean energy
The project resulted from an order given by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). This was in an effort to accelerate the use of energy storage connected to the grid and to also alleviate disastrous events from the natural gas leak. However, it is also part of a bigger vision of being able to take advantage of the natural resources.
At a ribbon-cutting event, whereby Teslas CEO Elon Musk was notably absent, Kevin Payne, CEO of Southern California Edison stated, “This project is part of our vision at Southern California Edison to take advantage of the wind and the sun, and operate a flexible grid that delivers clean energy to power our homes, our businesses and our vehicles.”
California has a need for batteries to store surplus renewable energy
A report by the New York Times states that a majority of California’s nuclear plants have either been phased out or is aging. This to some extent is putting pressure on the available utilities in finding better means to feed the grid. However, the state, which is dynamically pursuing clean energy projects, is on track to have an accumulation of energy thanks to Tesla.
The state’s target is to produce 50% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. It also has a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80% by 2050. Meanwhile, Tesla’s stock closed at $251.93 witnessing an increase of $1.30 or 0.52%.