SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A 182.5-megawatt energy storage system in Northern California was designed and constructed in a partnership between Tesla and Pacific Gas and Electric Company is now operational.
PG&E said Monday that the system includes 256 Tesla Megapack battery units on 33 concrete slabs and has the capacity to store and dispatch up to 730 megawatt-hours of energy to the electrical grid at a maximum rate of 182.5 megawatts per hour during periods of high demand.
The massive batteries are charged when energy demand is low or when alternative energy produced by solar or wind is high, providing additional capacity by sending that reserved power to the grid when demand grows, it added.
Known as the Elkhorn Battery because of its location in Monterey Bay’s Elkhorn Slough, the lithium-ion battery storage system was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission in 2018.
The system is one of nine projects that would bring PG&E’s total battery energy storage system capacity to more than 3,330 MW by 2024, the utility said.
As familiar as PG&E is with large-scale battery energy storage projects, Tesla may be even more so. The world’s largest operating battery storage system, the Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia, utilizes Tesla batteries and is colloquially known as the Tesla Big Battery.