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Vistra Energy, PG&E awaiting nod for 300-MW battery storage project in California

Author: Portland General Electric. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic.

July 2 (Renewables Now) - Texas-based Vistra Energy Corp (NYSE:VST) will install a 300-MW/1,200-MWh battery storage facility in California, planned to be the largest one of its kind globally, under a deal with local utility Pacific Gas and Electric Co (PG&E).

Vistra Energy said on Friday it will develop the project under a 20-year resource adequacy contract with PG&E, which was filed last week for approval with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). A decision on the application is expected to be issued within 90 days.

The proposed energy storage system will be located at the site of PG&E’s Moss Landing natural gas power station in California’s Monterey County. If CPUC approval is secured, Vistra expects to launch commercial operations at the facility by the closing quarter of 2020.

The storage facility will be interconnected through an existing link from mothballed units of the natural gas plant. The batteries, themselves, will be accommodated in an existing turbine building at the site.

The project is in line with Vistra's strategy "to opportunistically invest in new technologies in support of the changing energy supply landscape,” said the company’s president and CEO Curt Morgan, adding that it will position Vistra as a market leader in utility-scale battery development. It was part of a larger solicitation for energy storage capacity under which PG&E selected a total of four projects with a combined capacity of 567.5 MW.

The utility said separately that it is seeking CPUC clearance for one utility-owned project and three third-party owned projects, among which is the 300-MW proposal by Vistra. Details about the schemes, all of which will use lithium-ion battery technology, can be seen in the following table:

Project Name Counterparty Location Size (MW)
Vistra Moss Landing Energy Storage Dynegy Marketing and Trade LLC in Moss Landing 300
Hummingbird Energy Storage Hummingbird Energy Storage LLC near the city of Morgan Hill 75
mNOC AERS Energy Storage (behind-the-metre) Micronoc Inc South Bay – Moss Landing local sub-area 10
Moss Landing Energy Storage (utility-owned) Tesla Inc within the Moss Landing substation 182.5

PG&E expects all of the facilities to be commissioned by end-2020. The first one will be put on stream by the end of next year.

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Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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