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Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), announced that the 182.5-megawatt (MW), Tesla Megapack battery energy storage (BESS) was in commission. It is located at the Moss Landing electric substation, Monterey County.
Final testing was completed and the BESS was certified by the California Independent System Operator, CAISO on April 7, 2022.
Battery energy storage not only helps integrate renewable energy sources like solar but also increases the reliability of California’s constantly changing energy supply. When energy demand is low, or when solar production is high, batteries are charged and then send that reserve power to the grid.
With the commissioning and operation of the Tesla Megapack system at Moss Landing, we are bringing a new era to electric system reliability. We also offer a glimpse into the future for customers. We are committed to delivering safe, reliable and clean energy in a manner that maximizes our customers’ value. But we cannot do it alone in this new clean energy future. “Projects like these require innovative partners such as Tesla. PG&E Corporation Chief Executive Officer Patti Poppe said that PG&E Corporation will continue to search out and collaborate with the best and most brightest to provide cutting-edge clean energy solutions to our customers.”
The BESS was approved in November 2018 by the California Public Utilities Commission and February 2020 by the Monterey County Planning commission. Construction of the site began in July 2020.
Named for its location at the mouth of Elkhorn Slough, on Monterey Bay, the Elkhorn Battery system was built and maintained by both PG&E as well as Tesla. It is also owned and operated by PG&E.
The unit contains 256 Tesla Megapack batteries on 33 concrete slabs. Each unit houses power conversion equipment and batteries in one cabinet. To connect the energy stored in the Megapacks with the 115 kilovolt electric transmission system, transformers and switchgears were also added to the cabinets.
The BESS can store and dispatch up 730 megawatts (MWh) to the electrical grid at an maximum rate of 182.5MW for up-to four hours during high demand periods.
The Elkhorn Battery improves reliability by correcting capacity gaps that have been created by increased local energy demand. It is a participant in the CAISO wholesale electricity markets, providing energy as well as ancillary services – such serving as an operating reserve that can be quickly dispatched to ensure sufficient energy to meet the demand – to CAISO-controlled grid.
This system is one of the most important, utility-owned lithium-ion energy storage systems in the entire world.