It appears that Tesla Energy and Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s 730 MWh battery installation at Moss Landing in Monterey, California, is progressing well. The first batch of Tesla Megapacks was successfully installed enabling the project to take a step towards its goal of starting operations in the second quarter of 2021 as noted in a recent update from PG&E.
The massive battery storage device of 182.5MW/730MWh was initially announced in July, with the groundbreaking ceremony taking place later in the month. It was announced during the announcement of the project that the completed battery system would require a whopping 256 Tesla Megapacks, making it one of the world’s largest battery installations.
The large battery will be used to help meet the region’s peak energy demands. When demand is low, the Tesla Megapacks will be able to store excess solar and wind energy produced. As demand picks up, this energy could then be used particularly in periods when solar and wind are not available. In the end, the battery system is supposed to increase the efficiency of the electrical grid, while at the same time reducing the region’s dependency on fossil fuels.
The Tesla Megapacks are also expected to provide around $100 million worth of savings to PG&E over the expected 20-year lifetime of the project, in addition to their capacity to store and release excess energy as needed by the grid. Interestingly enough, Tesla’s PG&E contract also involves the potential that the battery will be extended in the future to as high as 1.1 GWh. Such a scale would be adequate to power every home in San Fransisco for 6 hours.
Fong Wan, PG&E’s senior vice president of Energy Policy and Procurement, noted that battery storage systems play a key role in improving the power grid. This is particularly noteworthy, as batteries offer a safer and more efficient alternative to traditional energy solutions. “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,” Wan said.
There is a lot of opportunity for Tesla Energy with Elon Musk noting that the battery storage business of the company may very well be larger than the electric car division of Tesla. This is for a very obvious reason as the utility industry is larger than the automobile market. Fortunately, the grid-scale energy market is ripe for disruption making Tesla’s products like the Megapack and the Autobidder apps a likely success.
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