Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), based in the US, has completed the installation of its 182.5 MW Tesla Megapack battery energy storage system (BESS) at its Moss Landing substation in Monterey County. Following the completion of final tests, the BESS was fully energised and certified by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO). It will also participate in the wholesale electric markets of the CAISO. The lithium-ion system, known as Elkhorn Battery, is one of several batteries set to go into service between 2022 and 2024.

Reportedly, the new BESS system has the capacity to integrate renewable energy sources while also improving the energy supply reliability in California. Moreover, Elkhorn Battery features 256 Tesla Megapack battery units on 33 concrete slabs, as well as transformers and switchgears to connect the batteries to the 115kV electric transmission system. The battery is charged when the solar energy production is high, and the power from the BESS system is supplied to the grid when there is high demand for electricity. It has the capacity to deliver up to 730 MWh of energy to the electrical grid for up to four hours.

In January 2022, PG&E announced plans to build nine additional energy storage projects totalling 1,600 MW/ 6.4 GWh, including a 350 MW extension of the Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility. Between 2023 and 2026, the energy storage projects would become operational, coinciding with the planned retirements of gas plants in southern California and PG&E’s Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.

REGlobal Views: PG&E has been focusing heavily on energy storage deployment to ensure grid stability especially with increasing renewable power capacity. The utility already has 955 MW of installed battery storage projects across the state of California and more are under implementation.