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Joe Deely's picture
Partner Deely Group

Involved with high-tech for last 30 years. Interested in energy.

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  • May 19, 2020
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The explosion of storage projects in Western US continues with the expansion of PG&E project at Moss Landing, Caliornia. More NG generation in CA bites the dust. 

The company has entered into a 10-year resource adequacy agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) for a new 100-megawatt/400-megawatt hour battery to complement the 300-MW/1,200-MWh battery already under construction. On Monday, May 18, PG&E filed its application with the CPUC to approve the contract, with a decision expected within 120 days.

Today's announcement brings Vistra's total to 436.25 MW/1,745 MWh of battery energy storage under contract in California:

  • Moss Landing – Phase I (300 MW/1,200 MWh)
  • Moss Landing – Phase II (100 MW/400 MWh) 
  • Oakland (36.25 MW/ 145 MWh) 1

Pending the receipt of CPUC approval, Vistra anticipates construction on the second phase of the Moss Landing battery energy storage project will commence in July 2020 and will begin commercial operations prior to Aug. 1, 2021. Phase I remains on schedule to begin operations later this year in December 2020.

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Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on May 19, 2020

Vistra's 1,745 MWh, $2.4B bank of battery energy storage at Moss Landing will be responsible for an additional

• 115,924 tonnes/yr CO2*
• 114.6 tonnes/yr NOx*
• 165 tonnes/yr SO2*

than if generated by Moss Landing CCGT power plant on demand.

* 365 cycles/yr. Hittinger, E.S; Azevedo, ISL (2015). "Bulk Energy Storage Increases United States Electricity System Emissions", Environmental Science & Technology, https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/es505027p

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on May 20, 2020

Moss Landing CCGT will be shutting down. By the way, the 1,745 MWh is just a start.  More storage will be coming at this location. Its a perfect site. in fact, many of the existing power plant locations in CA are good sites for storage.

"Our Moss Landing site provides a unique opportunity for extensive battery development with its existing infrastructure and the physical space needed for even more potential growth. Utilizing our existing power plant sites allows us to cost-competitively develop renewable and battery storage assets as we rotate our power generation portfolio toward carbon-free technologies."

Moss landing is just one location. PG&E is also looking at other sites. The same goes for other IOUs plus of course all the CCAs are looking at implementing storage projects.

Some more PG&E projects:

Diablo Energy Storage – The Diablo Energy Storage Project is comprised of three separate 15-year agreements totaling 150 MW. The three projects will be stand-alone lithium-ion battery energy storage resources located in Contra Costa County. This project is an expansion of a 50-MW energy storage project under contract to PG&E in Contra Costa County, which is currently in development.

Gateway Energy Storage – The Gateway Energy Storage project is comprised of a 15-year agreement for a 50-MW stand-alone lithium-ion battery located in San Diego.

NextEra Energy Resources Development, LLC – The Blythe Energy Storage 110 project is comprised of a 15-year agreement for 63 MW. The project is a lithium-ion battery co-located with an existing 110-MW solar project built in 2016 located in Blythe, California (Riverside County).

Coso Battery Storage – The Coso Battery Storage project is comprised of a 15-year agreement for a 60-MW transmission-connected, stand-alone lithium-ion battery co-located with an existing geothermal project in Little Lake, California (Inyo County).

Your misapplication of Eric Hittinger's research only serves to show how desperate you are to find something to back up your weak arguments.

Some quotes from Eric:

"Storage will always help us to use more of our low-cost electricity sources. The question is whether that is coal, nuclear or renewables"

"So, how can grid planners achieve the promise of a happy marriage between storage and renewables, assuming that they have to live in the same house with crusty old Uncle Coal? We studied this and found that for the Midwest grid there is a turning point when wind and solar reach about 18 percent of total generating capacity: At that point, adding storage starts to decrease rather than increase emissions. The current adoption level is 10 percent, so it would take some time before storage in the Midwest reduces emissions."

"On the other hand, we found that in New York, a state with very little coal power, adding storage reduces carbon emissions"

 

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on May 20, 2020

"Moss Landing CCGT will be shutting down."

Evidence? No coincidence the storage is in the same location as a 1 GW CCGT facility (Wikipedia lists it as part of the facility). Pretty handy for charging batteries overnight.

"Its a perfect site. in fact, many of the existing power plant locations in CA are good sites for storage."

Of course. Ever wonder why that is?

Your misapplication of Eric Hittinger's research only serves to show how desperate you are to find something to back up your weak arguments.

Desperation? I'm not the one casting ad hominems about.

"Some quotes from Eric:..."

Links, please. Unlinked, anecdotes will be assigned all the credence they're due (none). I'm providing links to a published, peer-reviewed study. If you want to refute it you can do the same. This stuff (like your homemade graphs) is useless.

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on May 21, 2020

Eric quotes from here.

You said:

Vistra's 1,745 MWh, $2.4B bank of battery energy storage at Moss Landing will be responsible for an additional

• 115,924 tonnes/yr CO2*
• 114.6 tonnes/yr NOx*
• 165 tonnes/yr SO2*

than if generated by Moss Landing CCGT power plant on demand.

* 365 cycles/yr. Hittinger, E.S; Azevedo, ISL (2015). "Bulk Energy Storage Increases United States Electricity System Emissions", Environmental Science & Technology, https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/es505027p

Can you -

  • point out the page in the paper where Hittinger and co-authors did this calculation 
  • what was their assumption for the fuel  used for charging
  • what was their assumption for fuel replaced during discharging
  • what time of day did they assume for charging and discharging
  • did they reference something like the below chart to determine when to buy low and sell high.

 

Its remarkable that they could do this calculation in 2015 for a project that won't go live till 2022.

Or was this actually a calculation that you did and then you fraudently tagged their paper as the source?

I'm providing links to a published, peer-reviewed study.

Another Eric quote:

"In most cases, storage systems in the U.S. operate to maximize profit. To do this, storage “buys low and sells high.”

Below is from CAISO 2018 Market report. Prices are low between 10-14 and high between 18-22.

What will this chart look like in 2022? Will the midday dip be even lower?

 

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on May 21, 2020

Figures for CO2 were derived as follows:

Annual energy stored and sent back to the grid (capacity x cycles/yr) at Moss Landing storage installation:

1,745 MWh x 365 cycles = 636,925 MWh

From source:

"Table S7: Annual and normalized emissions resulting from the operation of a storage device in the twenty studied eGRID subregions, with storage operation determined under perfect information. The marginal emissions factors used to produce these data are calculated at the level of NERC regions."

For eGRID subregion CAMEX (California)
CO2 (Normalized) = 182 kg/MWh = .182 mT/MWh

.182 x 636,925 = 115,920 mTCO2/yr (NOx, SO2 quantities use same methodology with corresponding emissions profile).

Still waiting on support for your claim "Moss Landing will be shutting down".

"Can you -

point out the page in the paper where Hittinger and co-authors did this calculation?

I never claimed they "did this calculation".  Above, I've given the source for emissions/MWh wasted by storage in California, and shown how it was applied to Moss Landing. BTW, Hittinger/Azevedo assumed a grid mix is being stored - an extremely generous assumption, given the storage is sitting next to a gas plant.

"what was their assumption for the fuel  used for charging

what was their assumption for fuel replaced during discharging

what time of day did they assume for charging and discharging"

did they reference something like the below chart to determine when to buy low and sell high"

You'll have to read the paper, then you can explain what's wrong with their analysis.

"What will this chart look like in 2022? Will the midday dip be even lower?"

Owners of storage facilities certainly hope so. Last year, rescuing the grid from the ravages of solar and wind intermittency - during the day - was a cash cow for storage:

"Total above-market costs due to exceptional dispatch increased more than 150 percent to $51.9 million from $20.6 million in 2017 and $10.7 million in 2016. Commitment costs for exceptional dispatch paid through bid cost recovery accounted for almost 80 percent of above-market costs, increasing from $16.6 million to $40.6 million."

It appears the people who actually have money invested in storage aren't using it when you want them to.

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on May 22, 2020

Bob,

It really is hard to figure out if you are being deliberately dense on this. 

First, the Hittinger study you reference is from 2015. US grids have gotten much cleaner since then. All simulations would need to be re-done based on changes.  You understand this, right?

As you can see in chart belo, the CAISO grid is about 25% cleaner vs 2014/2015.

Second, Hittinger et al emphasized that storage owners want to make money.  In his paper, he mentioned storage being charged by cheap coal at night on Midwest grid.  

"In most cases, storage systems in the U.S. operate to maximize profit. To do this, storage “buys low and sells high.”

For CAISO that means buying(charging) between 10am-2pm and discharging between 6pm-10pm.  This is way different vs the Midwest grid charging batteries at night with coal.  Again, this is pretty obvious.

Third, Hittinger says the charging mix needs to be 20% cleaner than fuel replaced during discharge. If it is, then emissions will be lower. 

On CAISO, mid-day generation comes primarily from solar, wind and NG share is much lower.  You can see this from the chart below.  CO2 emissions are low midday and rise much higher later in the evening.  

This is not really that difficult Bob. These new, large battery systems will be charged when elecricity is cheap - which on CAISO - is midday and will be discharged when electricity is more expensive later in the evening.  The fuel mix is way cleaner midday on CAISO.  Therefore batteries on CAISO will easily cut emissions even with a 20% "hit".

Finally, the grid in CAISO continues to get cleaner. By 2022 - when this system is installed another 3-4GW of solar will be on the system.  This means that emissions will be even lower midday and the overall cut in emissions for batteries will be higher.

Still waiting on support for your claim "Moss Landing will be shutting down".

No longer sure about this. I thought Moss Landing was shutting down due to once-thru cooling requirements.

It appears they have gotten a temporary extension to meet these requirements.

The order also requests a temporary extension for the Moss Landing facility to meet its obligations under
the OTC requirements, though that would not make additional capacity available.

 

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on May 23, 2020

Joe, again you reply with ad hominems - the last refuge of a losing argument.

"First, the Hittinger study you reference is from 2015. US grids have gotten much cleaner since then. All simulations would need to be re-done based on changes.  You understand this, right?

Irrelevant. First, you'd have to show a basis for your belief cleaner grids will reduce emissions from grid storage (and not make it worse).

"Second, Hittinger et al emphasized that storage owners want to make money."

Might as well explain their incentive to misrepesent the value of their investment.

"For CAISO that means buying between 10am-2pm and discharging between 6pm-10pm.  This is way different vs the Midwest grid charging batteries at night with coal.  Again, this is pretty obvious."

Not "pretty obvious" or even suggested, and CAISO does not "buy" energy. Unfamiliarity with how electricity is bought and sold in California may explain your confusion here.

"These new, large battery systems will be charged when elecricity is cheap - which on CAISO - is midday and will be discharged when electricity is more expensive later in the evening."

Unsupported speculation.

"No longer sure about this. I thought Moss Landing was shutting down due to once-thru cooling requirements."

Thanks.

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