100 Megawatt Energy Storage Agreement Signed By Clean Power Alliance

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In April, the Clean Power Alliance signed an Energy Storage Agreement for the 100 megawatt / 400 megawatt-hour lithium-ion Luna Storage battery storage project. Located in the city of Lancaster, CA, the project will be owned and operated by sPower. The new energy storage project, which is valued at over $100 million, is expected to be operating by August 2021. Natasha Keefer, Director of Power Procurement and Planning for the Clean Power Alliance, answered some questions about it for CleanTechnica.

Image credit: Clean Power Alliance

How many gas-fired power plants might be closed after the energy storage system is operational?

The battery storage project does not directly correspond with natural gas plant closures. However, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in 2019 required CPA to procure at least 98.4 MW of new capacity by 2021, a requirement that has now been surpassed with this Energy Storage (ESA). The more storage on the grid in California amongst various LSEs, the less need for fossil-fuel peaker plants in our state.

How many jobs will be created during the installation phase, and how many permanent staff are required to operate and maintain the system?

Approximately 50 construction jobs and 2 operations related jobs will be created.

What is the cost of the system, or can you reveal that?

The cost of the system is confidential. Clean Power Alliance customers expect us to negotiate the best possible price and protect them from market manipulation. Keeping some market sensitive project information confidential for a period of time increases our negotiating leverage and maintains a robust pool of bidders for future projects, as our potential business partners know their trade secrets won’t be revealed. This is a standard confidentiality practice in our industry.

About how much money might it save over the long-term by phasing out the use of fossil fuels?

We can’t speak to that since we aren’t directly contracting fossil fuel facilities.

Where might the gas-fired power plants be closed after the energy storage system becomes operational?

The two once-through-cooling gas plants in our service territory are in the cities of Oxnard and Redondo Beach. CPA does not operate either gas plant.

How long will the construction phase last, and when will the project be completed?

Now that the project has been approved by the board, construction can proceed. The project is expected to be operational by August 2021.

Will you be supporting more energy storage projects soon or in the near future?

Yes. CPA contracted for this project in our 2019 Reliability Request for Offers (RFO).  CPA is in negotiations with several other standalone storage projects from this RFO. For more on our 2019 Reliability RFO process and future projects under negotiation, read our March 2020 Energy Committee packet here.

Why is it important to you to support more energy storage development?

By investing in storage, we are continuing to diversify our energy portfolio. Storage is an important resource for integrating renewables and meeting peak evening demands with emissions-free energy, which in turn, fights climate change. We also believe that investing in storage helps our communities with high paying jobs and economic development.

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