Photos credit: Jeremy Lile
Clean Coalition installs the first 5 of 15 Tesla Megapacks in Carpinteria, California. The Vallecito Energy Storage Resilience (VESR) energy storage project is expected to provide energy sustainability in this part of Santa Barbara County, reported Jeremy Lile, an employee of Bragg Companies, the company that installs Tesla Megapacks.
The VESR big battery project is expected to provide fundamental resilience to parts of Santa Barbara County, including the Carpinteria Valley, a highly vulnerable grid area known as the Goleta Load Pocket (GLP).
Proponents hope that the Tesla batteries in the VESR project will not only provide resilience for the South County but also “stage a Carpinteria Community Microgrid that includes critical community facilities like the nearby Carpinteria High School, an official Red Cross emergency sheltering site,” as stated in a letter of support addressed to the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors and signed by the Sierra Club Los Padres Chapter, Community Environmental Council, Carpinteria Unified School District and Carpinteria Valley Association (CVA), among other local environmental and community-based watchdog groups, reports Coastal View.
Clean Coalition has calculated that 200 MW of solar power and 400 MWh of storage power are needed to achieve an unlimited renewable back-up supply that provides 100% GLP protection against total power outages, which must be located within the GLP. The VESR itself represents the full 10% of the energy needed to achieve this goal. The GLP Community Microgrid, which is being staged with this 100% resilience goal in mind, will bring the area economic, environmental, and resilience benefits, according to Solar Power World.
“Battery storage projects, large and small, are signs that humanity does have a future,” CVA Vice President Jim Taylor told Coastal View News. “Already, a gas peaker plant in Oxnard was canceled in favor of storing the energy for times of peak demand. That’s less natural gas burned, and less carbon added to the atmosphere. Ultimately, local generation of electricity from solar panels, and local storage of the electricity produced, will help us achieve energy reliability and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
The first VESR project begins energy output in December 2020. There is also a plan for four additional battery projects in the area, which are expected to be launched by March 2021.
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