January 7, 2021: Texas-based energy firm Vistra on January 6 said it had switched on the largest lithium-ion battery storage facility in the world, the Moss Landing facility in Monterey County, California.
The 300MW/1,200MWh system is not even up to capacity yet, with a further 100MW/400MWh due to be added by August 2021 in Phase 2 — and if required, ultimately it has the potential to be stepped up to 1,500MW/6,000MWh.
The system, developed in cooperation with the utility Pacific Gas and Electric Company, has been installed at the existing Moss Landing power plant. It uses existing transmission lines to improve grid stability and fill the ‘reliability gap’ created by intermittent renewables, Vistra CEO Curt Morgan said.
“A battery system of this size and scale has never been built before,” he said. “As our country transitions to a clean energy future, batteries will play a pivotal role and the Vistra Moss Landing project will serve as the model for utility-scale battery storage for years to come.”
Now in Phase 1, the battery system can power around 225,000 homes at peak electricity periods, using stored excess electricity from the grid generated during peak solar output hours.
The Moss Landing battery has smashed the previous world record for size: the Tesla/Neoen 100MW/129MWh Hornsdale Power Reserve in Australia was widely applauded on installation in 2017 as the world’s largest, and even with its expansion just three years later to 150MW/194MWh, it is just half the size of the California system.