Almost one year ago, SoCalGas employees discovered a catastrophic gas leak at the company’s Aliso Canyon underground storage facility in northern Los Angeles. The spill ultimately resulted in some 1.6 million pounds of methane being emitted into the atmosphere, with experts claiming that the carbon footprint of the leak is more significant than that of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The Aliso Canyon facility was subsequently closed and in May the California Public Utilities Commission mandated an accelerated procurement for energy storage in order to prevent rolling blackouts and electricity shortages. Utility companies were directed to solicit large-scale energy storage solutions that could be in operation by the end of this year.
Enter: electric vehicle and energy storage superpower Tesla. Was anyone else really going to measure up?
The all-powerful Powerpack
Last week, in what the company called a “competitive process”,Tesla became the only bidder awarded a utility-scale storage project. The company will provide a 20MW/80MWh Powerpack system at Southern California Edison’s Mira Loma substation. The system will charge using electricity from the grid during off-peak hours and dispatch the stored energy during times of high demand.
Once completed, the system will be the largest lithium ion battery storage project in existence, capable of providing energy to more than 2,500 households in a single day when fully charged. The system will be manufactured at Tesla’s newly-operational Gigafactory, and will be installed and commissioned at Mira Loma within three months.
Tesla shares rose as much as three percent on Thursday as news of the storage deal hit headlines. All in a day’s work for Elon and co.