California utilities are ahead of much of the world in the transition to clean technology. They have a lot more rooftop solar power on the grid than many places, and they’re led by progressive voters and politicians. There is no waffling on battery energy storage for these big dogs at this point. They’re all in.
They’re also past the point of small pilot projects or slow-walking it. Stationary energy storage is a core part of their future, and they are making orders accordingly. In that vein, last week, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) requested that the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approve 5 new energy storage projects totaling 423 megawatts (MW) in power capacity. Every one of them is a lithium-ion battery storage proposal.
The energy storage projects could be co-located with solar energy or geothermal energy, or sited alone. Each storage project will have a 4 hour discharge duration.
Here are more details on the projects directly from PG&E:
- Diablo Energy Storage, LLC – 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
- Dynegy Marketing and Trade, LLC – The Vistra Energy MOSS100 Energy Storage Project is comprised of a 10-year agreement for 100 MW. The project is a stand‑alone lithium ion battery energy storage resource located in Moss Landing, Calif. (Monterey County). This project is an expansion of a 300 MW energy storage project under contract to PG&E at the same location, which is currently in development.
- Gateway Energy Storage, LLC – The Gateway Energy Storage project is comprised of a 15-year agreement for a 50 MW stand‑alone lithium ion battery energy storage resource 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 energy storage resource and is co-located with an existing 110 MW solar project built in 2016 located in Blythe, Calif. (Riverside County).
- Coso Battery Storage, LLC – The Coso Battery Storage project is comprised of a 15-year agreement for a 60 MW transmission-connected, stand‑alone lithium ion battery energy storage resource and is co-located with an existing geothermal project in Little Lake, Calif. (Inyo County).
This is getting toward the end of the planning process for the projects. They’ve all already gone through a request for offers (RFO) competition and winning companies have been chosen.
“PG&E is deeply committed to the California vision of a sustainable energy future. As we continue to integrate large amounts of intermittent renewable energy, we are now taking advantage of advancements in energy storage technology to ensure that customers continue to receive clean and reliable power from a flexible and dependable electric grid,” said Fong Wan, senior vice president, Energy Policy and Procurement, PG&E.
The above is all part of phase 1 of an energy storage initiative. The total expected capacity after phase 2 is 716.9 MW. These phase 1 projects are expected to be put online between August 1, 2021 and August 1, 2023, whereas the phase 2 projects are targeted for August 1, 2022 and August 1, 2023.