There is a remarkable addition to the power grid in California, courtesy of Vistra. It is a battery storage system with 300 MW, and its location is Monterey County, California. As far as energy storage facilities are concerned, this Moss Landing one is the largest globally. That’s obvious given the 1200 MWh. It is on an on-site location, the Moss Landing power plant of the US developer, Vistra.
Interestingly, its capacity might increase within no time. After all, there is ongoing construction to add up to 100 MW, which is 400 MWh. If things go as planned, the structure should be over by August 2021, resulting in an energy storage capacity of 400MW/1600MWh. Where it sits at the Moss Landing power plant was once a turbine. However, the building was refurbished to suit its new purpose, and its length is equivalent to the size of approximately three football courts. The 300 MW storage battery comprises 450 racks, and each of the cabinets contains 22 battery modules.
The battery modules stores excess electricity, which is a common scenario when solar output is at its highest, mostly around midday. Once the energy production of various sources such as wind and solar decreases, or the demand for electricity increases, that’s when the battery comes in handy. It releases the energy stored when the production was high. Vistra and the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) are in a long-term agreement that will see the Moss Landing energy storage facility’s two phases become a success.
According to Curt Morgan serving in the capacity of CEO at Vistra, the projects come bearing many benefits. First of all, its construction was relatively cost-effective as the power plant existed way before its emergency. As far as transmission is concerned, the lines were also active even before. Since its focus is storage, it solves a reliability problem that has been persistent with intermittent renewables. It brings about grid stability while providing emission-free electricity at a pocket-friendly price. The bottom line is that the local community will benefit, and California’s goal of the energy transition will stand a better chance of realization.
It serves as an example to others willing to venture into energy storage, whether in California or the rest of the world. After all, energy storage will play a massive role in the clean energy transformation. By 2022, Vistra plans to have completed yet another project, DeCordova, with a capacity of 260 MW/260 MWh. It also plans to expand the storage capacity of the Moss Landing energy storage capacity to 1500MW/6,000MWh eventually.