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World’s largest lithium-ion battery storage project


In light of the Aliso Canyon gas leak last year (which is considered the most damaging gas leak in US history), the facility has closed and Tesla has instead been charged to provide an electric energy system for Los Angeles.

Last October, a massive natural gas leak was discovered by SoCalGas, where gas was escaping from a well within the Aliso Canyon’s underground storage facility in the Santa Susana Mountains. It is considered the second-biggest gas leak in US history (after the Moss Bluff leak in Texas in 2004), however it is known as the most environmentally damaging, resulting in 97,100 metric tonnes of methane being expelled into the atmosphere.

Therefore, authorities closed the Aliso Canyon facility (which had been feeding the network of natural gas peaker plants in the LA basin), deeming it unfit to store fuel safely and sustainably.

As a result, a state of emergency was issued and the search began for a utility-scale storage solution that could be operational by December 31, 2016.

Last week, Tesla was selected to provide a 20MW/80MWh Powerpack system at the Southern California Edison Mira Loma substation. Once complete, the system will be the largest lithium-ion battery storage project in the world, according to Tesla. When fully charged, the system will possess enough energy to power more than 2500 households for a day or charge 1000 Tesla vehicles.

The large-scale production abilities of Tesla’s Gigafactory will allow the Powerpack system to be manufactured, shipped, installed and commissioned in three months, according to the company. The system will charge using electricity from the grid during off-peak hours and then deliver electricity during peak hours to maintain reliable operation of Southern California Edison’s electrical infrastructure (which serves over 15 million people). The company has stated that the Powerpack system will reduce the need for electricity generated by natural gas and facilitate the advancement of a resilient and modern grid.

“In order to achieve a sustainable future, one which has high penetration of solar and electric vehicles, the world needs a two-way, flexible electric grid,” said the company in a statement.

“The electric power industry is the last great industry which has not seen the revolutionary effects of storage. Working in close collaboration with Southern California Edison, the Tesla Powerpack system will be a landmark project that truly heralds the new age of storage on the electric grid.”

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