California is a state which is leading the way to a renewable future and has recently passed a historic vote which is expected to replace three power plants running on natural gas. The plants will be replaced with utility grade lithium-ion battery system manufactured by Tesla. California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted at 4-1 to approve Pacific Gas & Electric proposal which will be the world’s most massive battery in the world when completed. The system is comprised of four separate energy storage projects. This vote was vital since it is the first time when power plants will be replaced with renewable energy sources.
When CPUC ordered California’s largest utility company, PG&E to find options which can replace the old Calpine Corp. gas plants, that was when this project was initiated. CPUC forced PG&E to see alternate solutions. California is also known for decreasing the use of fossil fuels, specifically natural gas for many years. The total expected cost of the project has not been released yet. However, the total cost of the battery storage system is cheaper than operating natural gas plants.
Want to nerd out a bit? @californiapuc just approved battery storage to provide electricity at a retiring gas plant in #SantaClaraCounty. https://t.co/EVvvBN2ZjN It's the trifecta of what we need: reliable power from low-carbon sources in existing infrastructure. #cleanenergy
— Liane Randolph (@LRandolphCPUC) November 8, 2018
The utility company received more than a 100 proposals for the Moss Landing Power Plant. In the end, it was Tesla whose project was approved to collaborate with PG&E to build the battery system. Other companies will manage smaller installations including a 300-megawatt facility which will be developed by Vistra Energy Corp. Hummingbird Energy Storage, and Micronoc Inc. will generate a 75 megawatt and 10 megawatts of capacity at customer locations respectively. PG&E will purchase energy capacity from other projects, however, it will own the Tesla infrastructure.
Tesla will be charging PG&E for engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) of the project. Tesla and PG&E have worked together on other projects as well. Together, the companies built an electric storage project in Sacramento. This project will put California ahead of other states in the US concerning innovative energy policy. The southern coastal state passed a mandate for the use of solar rooftop panels on the new homes. Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation which required California to obtain all the required power from 100% renewable energy sources by the year 2045. The current battery project is expected to go online by the year 2020.