Tech

Tesla's Lithium-Ion Battery Storage Plant To Connect To Southern California's Power Grid

By Victor Thomson , Sep 17, 2016 03:00 AM EDT
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Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, with a Powerwall system on display unveils suite of batteries for homes, businesses, and utilities at the Tesla Design Studio in Hawthorne, California. (Photo : Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Tesla has announced that it plans to build its largest lithium-ion battery storage plant connected to the power grid in southern California. The battery facility will be able to provide a total supply capacity of 20 MW.

Tesla's Upcoming Southern California Battery Storage Plant

Computerworld reports that, after the worst methane gas leak in U.S. history left companies supplying California utilities desperate for new energy backup resources, Tesla has just been awarded its largest contract to date. The company has made a deal with Southern California Edison (SCE) to build a 20 megawatt (MW) lithium-ion battery storage facility.

Tesla's upcoming battery storage facility is expected to be up and running by the end of this year. According to the high-tech company, its system will be upon completion "the largest lithium ion battery storage project in the world." The system will hold enough energy when fully charged to charge 1,000 Tesla vehicles or power more than 2,500 households, according to a blog post published by Tesla on Thursday, Sept. 15.

According to the same publication, Amit Ronen, director of Solar Institute at George Washington University, said that it is remarkable that this Tesla's battery storage plant is going to be built in just a few months. Fossil fuel-based infrastructure could never be developed so fast. But now batteries are becoming fast the preferable and economical solution to meeting the demands of the electricity grid.

At this point, Tesla did not disclose the price of the contract. However, a similar battery storage facility with a capacity of 20 MW that is being built for SCE by AltaGas Ltd. has been valued in the range between $40 million and $45 million.

According to Utility Dive, the contract awarded to Tesla addresses a specific request from California regulators to deploy storage projects by the end of the year to alleviate reliability concerns. When in use, Tesla's lithium-ion storage batteries will deliver power to the grid during times of peak demand and will charge during off-peak hours. This will allow reducing the demand in the region for natural gas-generated power.

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