Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) held a ceremonial ribbon-cutting ceremony today for the commissioning of its 182.5-megawatt (MW) Tesla Megapack battery energy storage system (BESS).
Referred to as the Elkhorn Battery, the facility is located at the Moss Landing electric substation in Monterey County, about 2 hours south of San Francisco.
“This is just the next step in bringing clean energy, and a bright and prosperous future for all Californians,” PG&E CEO Patti Poppe said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday. (via Monterey Herald)
The Elkhorn BESS has actually been turned on since April 7, 2022 when the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) fully energised and validated the BESS for market participation after final testing.
The facility is now operational after nearly four years of planning, development, and construction by PG&E. The project was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission in November 2018 and the Monterey County Planning Commission in 2020, and construction began in July 2020.
According to PG&E, the Elkhorn BESS features 256 Megapacks which have the capacity to store and dispatch up to 730 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy to the electrical grid at a maximum rate of 182.5 MW for up to four hours during periods of high demand, enough to power 225,000 homes in Monterey County.
The system is already producing results, with Poppe saying in mid-April power was selling at $100/megawatt hour during a period of peak demand, but the BESS was able to kick and provide the energy stored in the Megapacks.
“That saves money for our customers and brings clean energy that otherwise would have been a diesel-generated, fossil fuel-powered resource. People, I think sometimes, speculate that California is going too far with clean energy. Heck no, we’re just getting started, and a facility like this makes it possible,” said Poppe.
The Elkhorn BESS is just the beginning for PG&E. The company has contracts in place for an additional 3,330 megawatts of capacity that will be deployed through 2024, adding to the 955.5 megawatts already in operation.