Tesla has just made energy storage history
Almost one year ago, SoCalGas employees discovered a catastrophic gas leak at the company’s Aliso Canyon underground storage facility in northern Los Angeles. The spill ultimately resulted in some 1.6 million pounds of methane being emitted into the atmosphere, with experts claiming that the carbon footprint of the leak is more significant than that of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The Aliso Canyon facility was subsequently closed and in May the California Public Utilities Commission mandated an accelerated procurement for energy storage in order to prevent rolling blackouts and electricity shortages. Utility companies were directed to solicit large-scale energy storage solutions that could be in operation by the end of this year.
Enter: electric vehicle and energy storage superpower Tesla. Was anyone else really going to measure up?
The all-powerful Powerpack
Last week, in what the company called a “competitive process”,Tesla became the only bidder awarded a utility-scale storage project. The company will provide a 20MW/80MWh Powerpack system at Southern California Edison’s Mira Loma substation. The system will charge using electricity from the grid during off-peak hours and dispatch the stored energy during times of high demand.
Once completed, the system will be the largest lithium ion battery storage project in existence, capable of providing energy to more than 2,500 households in a single day when fully charged. The system will be manufactured at Tesla’s newly-operational Gigafactory, and will be installed and commissioned at Mira Loma within three months.
Tesla shares rose as much as three percent on Thursday as news of the storage deal hit headlines. All in a day’s work for Elon and co.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.