City of San Luis Obispo enhances Water Treatment Plant with Tesla Megapack battery

The City of San Luis Obispo’s Utilities Department has installed a Tesla Megapack battery storage system at their Water Treatment Plant.

The Megapack battery boasts a capacity of 644 kilowatt-hours (kWh), which is seamlessly integrated into the operations of the water treatment plant. What makes this project unique is that there was no cost to the community as it was funded entirely through Pacific Gas & Energy’s (PG&E’s) Self-Generation Incentive Program. The installation is an important step in the city’s goal of achieving carbon-neutral municipal operations by 2030.

The Water Treatment Plant will see a number of benefits from the battery storage system. Firstly, it smooths peak energy demand, effectively addressing the surges in energy consumption during equipment start-up and peak operational periods. This proactive approach alleviates the strain on the power grid, curbing rising electrical costs by seamlessly shifting energy demand to the battery during high-demand periods.

Secondly, the system optimizes energy use by capitalizing on periods of cheaper and more abundant electricity, often derived from sustainable sources like solar and wind. The stored energy can then be strategically harnessed to power essential operations during peak demand periods when power is not only more expensive but also reliant on less eco-friendly energy sources.

Finally, the Megapack system enhances the resilience of the water treatment plant by ensuring continuous operation in the face of both scheduled and unscheduled power losses from PG&E, eliminating the need for on-site backup diesel generators, thereby significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The batteries will provide an estimated capacity to power the entire water treatment plant and the city’s largest water pump station for up to seven hours, strengthening the plant’s ability to weather unforeseen disruptions in the energy supply.

“The installation of the Tesla battery system at our water treatment plant is a testament to our city’s commitment to sustainability, innovation, and resilience. I’m proud of the work our team has done to make this vision a reality,” said City Utilities Director Aaron Floyd.

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