- Aug 13, 2020 4:46 pm GMT
Wow... now that's a lot of storage.
An already groundbreaking year for battery storage in the United States gained further momentum with Vistra Corp.'s recently granted permit to expand an energy storage system under construction at its natural gas-fired Moss Landing CC on the shores of California's Monterey Bay to 1,500 MW/6,000 MWh.
Underpinned by two resource adequacy contracts with Pacific Gas and Electric Co. for a combined 400 MW, the Vistra battery complex at Moss Landing could nearly quadruple in size after the Monterey County Planning Commission in late July approved the developer's application to build four 300-MW battery blocks next to a previously approved 300-MW section.
At 1,500 MW of four-hour lithium-ion battery capacity, Vistra's Moss Landing storage station would be easily the largest battery system in the U.S. and the world, according to data tracked by S&P Global Market Intelligence. The first 300-MW phase is planned for completion by the end of 2020, followed by a second 100-MW phase in 2021.
While several U.S. developers are advancing projects in the 100- to 400-MW range, Vistra's project is positioned to emerge as the power sector's first gigawatt-sized battery storage facility. And next door to Moss Landing, Pacific Gas and Electric is building its own project, the Tesla Moss Landing Battery Energy Storage Project (Elkhorn), scheduled for completion in 2021.
The Texas-based company is preparing to expand the project "should market and economic conditions support it," Vistra President and CEO Curtis Morgan said in an email. "With this new permit in place, Vistra is working on the related infrastructure upgrades so that we will be able to move quickly when opportunities to add additional storage capacity arise."
"We believe the power sector will ultimately evolve entirely away from coal and, in the longer term, away from natural gas," Morgan said. "This is why we expect to dedicate roughly 25% of our free cash flow to investing in renewables and batteries."
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