Fred Lambert - Jun. 30th 2021 electrek.co
A new 142-Tesla Megapack project has been turned on in California’s Ventura County to create a giant new battery that is replacing a gas peaker plant.
The project is called the Saticoy battery storage system, and it came about when the local community in Oxnard fought against having a new gas-powered peaker plant to help respond to the energy demand during peak times.
Instead, they settled on a proposal from Arevon Asset Management (Arevon), a renewable energy company, to deploy a massive 100 megawatt/400 megawatt-hour battery system to help power the peak energy demand.
The community was about to get a polluting gas power plant near the beach, and instead, they now have one of the largest energy storage sites in US, and it was deployed in just nine months.
They are using 142 Tesla Megapacks, the automaker’s largest energy storage solution (pictured above).
Carmen Ramirez, Ventura County District 5 Supervisor, commented on the project:
“Saying no to a gas peaker plant and yes to battery-stored energy has provided our community with a nonpolluting power plant, increased our tax base, and created good jobs and ultimately better health for the people. This project is truly a testament to Oxnard’s determination and resilience to modernize and better our community.”
The Tesla Megapacks receive electricity from Southern California Edison (SCE) under the terms of a 20-year purchase and sale agreement.
It releases the electricity back into the grid during peak demand times when it’s most valuable as it avoids using gas peaker plants.
The battery system also helps reduce grid outages.
It can virtually power Oxnard for four hours or all of Ventura County for 30 minutes.
John Breckenridge, head of Clean Energy Infrastructure at Capital Dynamics, a company that was part of the project, commented:
“On hot days when the grid is struggling to keep up, the Saticoy battery storage facility will help keep the lights on and air conditioners running with on-demand, local electricity. We’re proud to have worked with Arevon, our asset management affiliate; Strata Clean Energy; the county; and local utility Southern California Edison to improve grid reliability.”
They chose the Tesla Megapack, which has rapidly become a very popular battery system to deliver large energy storage projects like this one.
It helped Tesla’s energy storage deployment, which also includes Powerwalls and Powerpacks, grow to a record 3 GWh in 2020.
The company is on pace to beat that in 2021 with deployment growing 71% year-over-year during the first quarter.
Tesla is trying to grow its energy division into a large global decentralized electric utility, and CEO Elon Musk even said that Tesla Energy could even outgrow its automotive business.
I wonder about the intended consequences!
Times are changing folks. This past Thursday I visited Titus county Texas to watch the imploding of the old Monticello power plant (coal). I worked there back in the early 70's when the unit was being erected. I never expected to see the plant not last my lifetime.
The plant site is a large place and I think it would be a good place for solar or batteries.
Thanks, Max. From what I'm reading power plants, both coal and natural gas fired, have a useful life of about 30 to 40 years. Certainly the technical design of those old plants are more prone to the type of emissions that we now seek to reduce. I have no problem with solar+storage or wind for that matter but have been lobbying for some time to include the latest designs in natural gas fired generation and carbon capture, utilization and sequestration (CCUS). The entire natural gas system; upstream, midstream and downstream, needs to be hardened against fugitive emissions and extreme weather related events. The longer we wait and the longer that the O&G industry drags its feet and uses its political clout to fight renewables, the more likely that natural gas will see an ever shrinking place in our energy mix. If we don't get major changes soon, natural gas will end up being "peaker" generation to renewables "base load". Many natural gas focused E&P companies are already moving in that direction but we need buy in and support from state governments. I fully expect a majority renewable sourced power system by mid-century but we have to find a way to maintain reasonable energy costs and reduce emissions in the mean time.