Pacific Gas and Electric has brought online Tesla’s 2 MWh energy storage facility in Browns Valley north of Sacramento, according to news reports.
The facility has 22 Tesla Powerpacks with a total capacity of 0.5 MW, 2 MWh and is scalable so it can meet demand if it rises in the future.
PG&E will use the batteries to improve the management of peak demand and to reduce the need to call on peaking power plants.
California is quickly ramping up its energy storage capacity. The state has the nation's largest storage mandate and is also installing storage to offset a natural gas fuel shortage as a result of the Aliso Canyon methane leak.
San Diego Gas & Electric, meanwhile, added two storage facilities from AES for a combined capacity of 37.5 MW, 150 MWh. Those and the SCE projects were all deployed under an accelerated schedule to help mitigate for the Aliso Canyon leak.
PG&E is also working with Tesla for higher capacity through distributed energy storage with Powerwalls in the homes of its customers in the Bay Area.
Tesla’s new energy plant in Northern California is designed to enable PG&E to more cost effectively manage its grid resources.
“It’s pretty modular. You can scale up and down as you need,” Mike Della Penna, PG&E’s project manager for the Browns Valley installation, told the San Francisco Chronicle.
Tesla also plans to work with PG&E to expand the amount of distributed energy resources that can be put on the utility’s grid by installing its Powerwall battery in Bay Area homes.