World’s largest battery storage system now operational

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From pv magazine USA

Over the next two years, the title of “largest active battery storage project” is one that will be held by quite a few projects, though none for long. Today, the holder of that title is LS Power’s 250 MW Gateway project, located in the East Otay Mesa community in San Diego County, California.

While still the largest operational storage project in the world, Gateway still hasn’t achieved its maximum capacity. It currently sits at 230 MW of operational capacity, with the last 20 MW set to come online by the end of the month.

Construction was handled by McCarthy Building Companies, while NEC built the system with LG Chem batteries and SMA inverters, according to LS Power VP of Energy Storage Cody Hill. Although LS Power has not yet shared that project’s MWh capacity, it will almost certainly be between 1 GWh and 1.5 GWh once completed, as it’s rare to see large-scale storage outside of the four-to-six-hour duration range.

Following the completion of the Gateway project, LS Power will be keeping the large-scale storage train rolling in the months and years to come. The company currently has in its pipeline the 200 MW Diablo Energy Storage facility in Pittsburg, California, the 125 MW LeConte Energy Storage facility in Calexico, California, and the massive 316 MW Ravenswood energy storage project under development in Queens, New York.

All of these facilities will come out near the top of the global leaderboard for largest energy storage projects upon completion. For some reference as to how impressive LS Power’s pipeline is, let’s take one last look at the former list of largest completed projects in the world, now invalidated by Gateway’s completion.

This year has proven to be a breakthrough period for large-scale energy storage. Last week, Vistra Energy secured a permit to expand an energy storage system under construction at its natural gas-fired Moss Landing generation station in Monterey County, California, to 1,500 MW/6,000 MWh approved. It will soon become the largest battery installation in the world, by far.

In nearby Moss Landing, Tesla is building a 182.5 MW and 730 MWh battery featuring a 256 Tesla Megapack battery, which will be fully complete in the second quarter of 2021. There is also the upcoming 409 MW Florida Power and Light Manatee project, set to be the largest battery installation on the U.S. east coast.

By Tim Sylvia

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