Tesla’s new California energy storage station is their largest yet, providing 80MWh of power.
Tesla and power company Southern California Edison (SCE) announced back in September that they were building a new PowerPack station, and it has now been completed. The station, which is the largest lithium ion battery energy storage site in the world, uses Tesla’s Powerpack 2 to provide 80MWh from it’s Mira Loma location.
Tesla and SCE haven’t officially launched the station yet, but insiders with the project have revealed that the station was finished in late December and is already operational to help the power grid provide electricity at peak hours. The station is equipped with over 400 Tesla Powerpack 2, each capable of providing 210kWh (more than double of the Powerpack 1’s 100kWh). Since launching their first substations in 2015, Tesla has been providing an estimated 300MWh through power stations and power walls. That figure will surely rise with the new station. Mira Loma is one of Tesla’s first large scale utility applications for the technology.
The station is capable of providing power for 2,500 households for a full day, but won’t be used for that purpose. Instead, it will service 15 million households by leeching energy from surrounding power plants at off-peak hours, only to churn that power back into the grid during peak hours when the power plants strain to keep up with demand.
The new station gives SCE an alternative to natural gas reservoirs which have been used in the past. In fact, the station was launched after SCE began looking for solutions to their energy needs after closing its Aliso Canyon natural gas reservoir. The closure follows a 2015 rupture which forced governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency.
If Tesla’s new station proves successful, it could lead to more plants like Aliso Canyon being closed in favor of battery-based energy storage sites.