Tesla is manufacturing Megapacks for PG&E: container-size batteries for utility-scale projects with a capacity of 182.5MW/730MWh
A recent video of footage captured by a drone flying over Tesla’s Moss Landing Megapack project in California, US has shown that the project is progressing well. Once complete, it will be the world’s largest energy storage project with a capacity of 182.5MW/730MWh. This could potentially rise to approximately 1.1GWh. In addition to Tesla, Dynegy has also been roped in to deploy their energy storage project on PG&E’s grid with a capacity of 300MW/1,200MWh.
The project began to take shape in 2017 when PG&E began talking to Tesla about setting up a factory to manufacture large-capacity batteries at its Moss Landing substation. Tesla formally submitted a proposal the next year. The company decided to brand the batteries as ‘Megapacks’ instead of its usual Powerpacks, given its high capacity and application in large utility-scale projects. The project was officially approved in early 2020 and construction began in July. Three months later, Tesla began supplying the first Megapacks to PG&E. These new batteries are approximately the size of containers and are designed to handle energy requirements of large energy storage projects. Tesla’s steady progress has now come to light, thanks to the drone footage released recently.
The Megapacks will be a shot in PG&E’s arm which has been wading through troubled water since it declared bankruptcy in 2019. The project, which comprises four separate energy modules, will manufacture batteries that will replace peaker plants. The project is aimed to have a lifespan of 20 years. Forecasts of local capacity requirements calculated over this time period indicate that the project will save the utility company over $100 million.
Tesla has been boosting its energy storage deployment at a staggering rate, hitting new levels every quarter. Recently, the company confirmed that with the fourth quarter coming to a close, it has deployed a record 1,584 MWh of energy storage through its plants. This is an increase of almost 200% every year, and a 100% increase with every quarter. Its battery project at Moss Landing is expected to be complete by the second half of this year.