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Tesla to Deploy Megapacks in Goleta, CA as Gas Peaker Plant Faces Retirement

by Claribelle Deveza November 14, 2019


A Tesla Megapack system will be installed in Goleta, Californa. Tesla Energy will be providing extra power to SoCal Edison's grid when needed in that part of the country. Tesla's Megapack installation couldn't have come at a better time since Goleta's peaker plant will be retired soon. 

The Ellwood peaker plant in Goleta faces retirement and will need to be replaced. Peaker plants are used when the grid needs more power. Unfortunately, peaker plants have been labeled dirty and can be expensive. According to a case study, peaker plants emit about 30 percent more carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour than most clean baseload plants. 

Tesla-Megapack-Goleta-CACredit: Tesla

It seems California has had enough of peaker plants since many in the area are facing retirement, like the Ellwood facility. But something is needed to replace the backup plants. Battery storage units were the answer for Goleta. Now, the city in southern Santa Barbara County has turned to Elon Musk's energy company.

Tesla will be installing 41 lithium-ion Megapacks with a power rating of 60 megawatts and a nominal capacity of 123 MWh, far more power than the company's industry-grade Powerpacks. According to Tesla, its Megapack takes up 40 percent less space and has fewer parts than other energy storage systems on the market. The Megapacks will be connected to SCE's Isla Vista Substation, shared Tesla enthusiast Vladimir Grinshpun via Twitter. 

Altagas' clean energy division Upstream Clean Energy will be installing the Megapacks. Based on Tesla's description, though, the installation will be a breeze since all of Tesla's energy storage units are pre-assembled. The only thing that Altagas would need to do is connect the Megapack's AC output to the site's existing wiring infrastructure. 

The Megapacks will be providing extra energy to the grid when needed. Ryan Hulett from Upstream Clean energy told The Independent that demand for power changes throughout the day. The Megapacks will primarily be used from 5 to 7 pm when the majority of California's solar power systems are offline, and the primary grid needs backup. 

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