Tesla wins bid to power Southern California Edison

Tesla recently won a contract to provide power to Southern California Edison to combat future power shortages. Tesla will supply 20 megawatts of energy storage using its Powerpacks technology that is capable of powering 2,500 homes for a day.

Tesla announced its stationary storage battery system in may. There are 2 different storage systems. The Powerwall batteries for homes and the Powerpack batteries for commercial and industrial use. The batteries are in production currently at Tesla’s Gigafactory, in Reno, Nevada.

The contract is a response to the recent Aliso Canyon leak. On October 23, 2015 one of the underground storage wells began to leak methane. This leaked methane began to have side effects for the residents of he nearby Port Ranch community. Residents complained of headaches and nosebleeds, which led to their relocation. Southern California Gas Company, owned by Sempra Utilities, took months to fix the situation, having to dig 8,500 ft down to the gas reservoir, pumping it with slurry, and sealing it with cement. This became the second largest methane leak in the history of the the US. Without the largest natural gas storage facility, the state started a bidding to look for alternative solutions.

Tesla reported that it will deliver and install the 80MWh Powerpack battery system at Southern California Edison’s Mira Loma substation before the end of 2016. This is one of the most important parts as previously its taken years to implement power solutions. “The storage is being procured in a record time frame,” months instead of years, said Yayoi Sekine, a battery analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “It highlights the maturity of advanced technologies like energy storage to be contracted as a reliable resource in an emergency situation.”

“Upon completion, this system will be the largest lithium ion battery storage project in the world,” Tesla posted on its website. “When fully charged, this system will hold enough energy to power more than 2,500 households for a day or charge 1,000 Tesla vehicles.”

Musk went on to say that “In order to achieve a sustainable energy future, one which has high penetration of solar and electric vehicles, the world needs a two-way, flexible electric grid. 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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