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Battery Day – Part 2

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John Benson's picture
Senior Consultant Microgrid Labs

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Microgrid Labs, Inc. Advisor: 2014 to Present Developed product plans, conceptual and preliminary designs for projects, performed industry surveys and developed...

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  • Oct 6, 2020
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Since Elon finally had Battery Day on September 22, I posted Part 1 of this paper on the 29th. Part 1 was all about Tesla. There is a link to Part 1 below.

https://energycentral.com/c/cp/battery-day-%E2%80%93-part-1

In Part 2 I will cover: other (non-Tesla) battery developments, the new current largest battery energy storage system (BESS) in the world (also non-Tesla), the upcoming new largest BESS (Tesla), and finally any other recent or near future major BESS projects (mainly in California).

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Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Oct 6, 2020

"But the available batteries only got up to around 140 megawatts, not nearly enough to avoid rotating outages that evening. Still, record-high power prices offered a bounty for those batteries that were able to participate."

Questions:

1) Electrticity customers are paying for those "record-high" power prices, John. On August 14 they briefly topped $3,800/MWh = $3.80/kWh. That's seventeen times PG&E's basic residential rate.

Should Californians be celebrating the fact they're paying the highest electricity prices in the continental U.S. for some of the least reliable electricity?

2) Most (if not all) of grid-scale batteries in the U.S. are charging from a grid mix, making it at least 20% dirtier from resistance losses and bi-directional inversion. What evidence to you have batteries, overall, are reducing carbon emissions?

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Oct 6, 2020

However, if anyone can develop a pumped storage and find buyers for the power, it would be NextEra.

Can you expand on this, John-- is this due to the assets they already have on hand? Or the technical knowledge? Or, probably, both?

John Benson's picture
John Benson on Oct 6, 2020

Hi Matt, thanks for the comment.

You know that I live in Livermore, CA. I've lived here since the late 1970s. In the early 80s a large number of wind turbines were deployed in the Altamont Pass just east of Livermore. At one point in the early 90s there were over 5,000 turbines, but they were all relatively small (typically 100 kW per turbine). Sometime around Y2K, a division of a Florida company (I believe it was called FPL Energy then), started buying these wind projects.

These projects had a major problem - raptor predation. Around 2010 FPL Energy entered into negotiations with the main stake-holders that were responsible for wildlife protection, and in 2015 reached an agreement to replace the thousands of small turbines with about 50 large (appx. 2 MW per turbine) GE and Siemens Turbines. This project was completed a few years ago. See the link below for a good history of the development of this wind farm.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altamont_Pass_wind_farm

Since I was already tracking (now) Next Era Energy Resources, I noticed that they were one of the leading renewable developers. About a year and a half ago, I posted the paper linked below. See the quote from NextEra CEO James Robo at the beginning of this.

https://www.energycentral.com/c/cp/future-energy-economics

-John

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