The advent of grid or big battery technology eliminates the biggest problem for renewable energy – power intermittency. The EIA expects a 10 GW increase in battery storage capacity, a trend that would see more than 60% pairing with solar generators. Lot of factors are aiding this growth including a decline in battery costs, and favourable times for wind and solar energy.
We are picking some of the most notable battery storage projects – both current and slated – that could change the way we think of battery storage.
Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility, U.S.
Arguably the biggest battery storage, the Vistra Corp. owned Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility in California can currently store 100 MW/400 MWh of energy. And now it plans to nearly double this output. The Texas-headquartered integrated utility and power generation company started executing its 567 MW / 2,270 MWh of power plan from 2020. Powered by lithium-ion batteries, the facility could run up to four hours on a charge, or roughly 1,600 megawatt-hours. WIth a total capacity of 750MW/3,000MWh, Moss Landing could well retain its crown of being the biggest in the world.
DP World London Gateway, U.K (planned)
Scottish energy company InterGen, is working on the UK’s largest battery storage project located on the Thames Estuary. The £200m project aims to provide 320MW/640MWh of capacity, and a potential to expand to 1.3GWh. This dwarfs all the current battery systems in the UK and could be a close contender to Moss Landing facility. It could power up to 300,000 homes for two hours when fully charged. Though it is designed more for supporting and stabilising the nation’s electricity grid.
Victorian Big Battery, Australia
Known as the largest in Australia, Victorian Big Battery boasts of a 300MW / 450MWh lithium-ion battery energy storage system (BESS). Owned and operated by renewable energy specialist Neoen, it can store enough energy to power more than one million Victorian homes for 30 minutes. It has been operational since 2021.
Another noteworthy battery storage power station in Australia is in the Hornsdale Power Reserve owned by Tesla and operated by Neoen, this 2017 gridscale battery facility can discharge 100 MW into the power grid to prevent load-shedding blackouts. By the end of 2018, these grid scale batteries chalked a 56% increase in revenue.
Gateway Battery Energy Storage System 1, U.S.
At 250 MW, this was once the largest. Built by McCarthy Building Companies, and owned by the LS Power Group, this BESS has been operational since 2021. The company also carries out a 200 MW Diablo Energy Storage facility in Pittsburg, California, 125 MW LeConte Energy Storage facility in Calexico, California, and a massive 316 MW Ravenswood energy storage in the works at Queens, New York.
Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd. (CATL), China
The largest lithium-ion battery manufacturer in China doesn’t just provide batteries for electric vehicles. It is exploring industrial-scale energy storage as well. In 2018, CATL joined the BESS wave with a 50 MW/100 MWh storage project in Qinghai province. That same year, their sales revenue from storage business increased by almost 12 times over the previous year and in 2020, they reached CNY 1.9 billion ($295 million). Recently it has joined hands with US independent power producer Broad Reach Power to sell 900MWh of battery energy storage system (BESS) equipment. China, one of the biggest manufacturers of grid-scale batteries, also deployed the world’s first grid–scale sodium-ion energy storage system.
Energy storage and its benefits come at a cost. The cost of highly volatile electrical generators, and its general impact on grid health are a cause of concern.
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