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On July 21, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and Tesla began construction of a 182.5-megawatt (MW) lithium-ion battery energy storage system (BESS) at PG&E’s electric substation in Moss Landing in Monterey County.
The system will be designed, built and maintained by PG&E and Tesla, and will be owned by PG&E. The goal of PG&E is to launch the system in early 2021 and have it fully operational in the second quarter of 2021. Upon commissioning, the Moss Landing substation system will become one of the world's largest lithium-ion battery energy storage systems, BusinessWire reports.
“Battery energy storage plays an integral role in enhancing overall electric grid efficiency and reliability, integrating renewable resources while reducing reliance on fossil fuel generation. It can serve as an alternative to more expensive, traditional wires solutions, resulting in lower overall costs for our customers,” said Fong Wan, senior vice president, Energy Policy and Procurement, PG&E. “The scale, purpose and flexibility of the Moss Landing Megapack system make it a landmark in the development and deployment of utility-scale batteries.”
PG&E predicts Moss Landing BESS will save more than $100 million over a 20-year lifespan. The BESS was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission in November 2018 and by the Monterey County Planning commission in February 2020.
It includes the installation of 256 Tesla Megapack battery units on 33 concrete slabs. Each unit houses batteries and power conversion equipment in a single cabinet. Transformers and switch-gears will also be installed along with the Megapacks to connect energy stored in the batteries with the 115 kilovolts (kV) electric transmission system.
The BESS will have the capacity to store and dispatch up to 730-megawatt hours (MWh) of energy to the electrical grid at a maximum rate of 182.5 MW for up to four hours during periods of high demand. PG&E's agreement with Tesla contains an upsize option that can increase the capacity of the system up to six hours or 1.1-Gigawatt hour (GWh) total.