Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) is proposing nine new battery energy storage projects totaling approximately 1,600 MW, to further integrate renewable energy resources and improve reliability of the California electric system.
If approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), these nine projects would bring PG&E’s total battery energy storage system capacity to more than 3,330 MW by 2024.
“As we work year-round to strengthen our electric system, we are also planning, engineering and building the grid for a future that harnesses the power of solar plus storage on an unprecedented scale,” says Joe Bentley, senior vice president of electric engineering at PG&E. “We are committed to safely delivering reliable and clean energy in a way that achieves the greatest value for our customers. And we know we can’t go it alone. We welcome continued partnerships with the best and the brightest to make California’s clean energy future a reality.”
These large-scale battery systems will participate in the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) markets, providing energy and ancillary service – such as serving as an operating reserve to help provide enough energy supply to meet demand – to the CAISO-controlled grid.
The nine project agreements are the result of a competitive request for offers (RFO) PG&E launched to procure energy resources ordered by the CPUC’s June 2021 decision directing all load serving entities (LSEs) in California – including California’s investor-owned utilities, such as PG&E – to collectively procure 11.5 GW of new electricity resources.
The energy would come online between 2023 and 2026 to support California’s greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction policy, and to replace electricity generation from the expected retirements of Southern California natural gas plants and PG&E’s Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP).
The CPUC decision requires the resources to begin delivering energy to customers incrementally: at least 2,000 MW by August 1, 2023; an additional 6,000 MW by June 1, 2024, an additional 1,500 MW by June 1, 2025; and an additional 2,000 MW by June 1, 2026.
To replace the current supply of energy from DCPP without a net increase in GHG emissions when DCPP retires in 2025, at least 2,500 MW of the resources procured by the LSEs collectively, between 2023 and 2025, must be from zero-emission electric generation resources, generation resources paired with storage, or demand response.
In total, PG&E is responsible for purchasing at least 2,302 MW to be delivering energy to the grid between 2023 and 2026. PG&E will issue another (phase two) competitive solicitation later this year for resources to be delivering energy by June 1, 2025 and June 1, 2026.
Including these nine new projects, PG&E now has contracts for battery energy storage systems totaling more than 3,330 MW of capacity being deployed throughout California through 2024.
To date, more than 600 MW (of the 3,330 MW contracted) of new battery storage capacity has been connected to California’s electric grid including the 400 MW Vistra Moss Landing Battery Energy Storage Facility in Monterey County (commissioned August 2021), the 63 MW NextEra Blythe BESS located in Riverside County (commissioned August 2021) and the 50 MW Gateway BESS located in San Diego (commissioned July 2021).
PG&E anticipates an additional 1,100 MW of storage capacity (of the 3,330 MW contracted) to come online in 2022 and 2023 including PG&E’s Elkhorn Battery – a 182.5 MW BESS comprised of Tesla Megapacks – which is anticipated to be operational before summer 2022, pending final testing and certification.
The nine new projects feature lithium-ion battery energy storage technology, each with a four-hour discharge duration. PG&E has executed 15-year Resource Adequacy agreements for each of the projects, which are all stand‑alone, transmission-connected battery energy storage resources.
Terra-Gen LLC’s wholly owned subsidiaries include the 169 MW Sanborn ESS I LLC in Mojave, Calif. (Kern County) and 100 MW Beaumont ESS I LLC in Beaumont, Calif. (Riverside County), which are both scheduled to be online by August 2023, as well as the 80 MW Canyon Country ESS I LLC in Santa Clarita, Calif. (Los Angeles County), which is scheduled to be online by October 2023.
Vistra Corp.’s 350 MW Moss Landing Energy Storage 3 LLC is located in Moss Landing, Calif. (Monterey County) and scheduled to be online by August 2023.
Strata Clean Energy LLC’s 100 MW Poblano Energy Storage LLC, also known as the Inland Empire Energy Storage project, is in Rialto, Calif. (San Bernardino County) and scheduled to be online by April 2024.
NextEra Energy Resources Development LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of NextEra Energy Inc., is focused on the Corby Energy Storage project (125 MW in Vacaville, Calif. in Solano County), which will be online by June 2024, and the 275 MW Kola Energy Storage project (Tracy, Calif. in Alameda County), which is scheduled to be online by June 2024.
Nighthawk Energy Storage LLC, an affiliate of Arevon Energy, is a 300 MW resource located in Poway, Calif. (San Diego County) and, pending required local approvals, is scheduled to be online by June 2024.
Lastly, Caballero CA Storage LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Origis USA LLC, is comprised of a 99.7 MW battery energy storage resource located in Nipomo, Calif. (San Luis Obispo County) and scheduled to be online by June 2024.