Tesla and PG&E eye massive 1GWh Megapack project involving wind and solar

Tesla's Megapack as a utility grid. | Image: Tesla

Tesla and PG&E are looking to build a massive 1GWh Megapack installation at the Moss Landing, California power facility. The Monterey County Planning Commission unanimously approved the Pacific Gas and Electric-backed project on Wednesday, which will be known as the Elkhorn Battery Storage Facility and will involve both solar and wind energy.

“It’s huge for the area and as you know the power plant has been gradually shutting down and they producing about one-tenth of the power they used to produce in the past and that hurts us from a tax standpoint,” Monterey County Supervisor John Phillips commented.

Brandon Swanson, Monterey County’s planning director, said that the project would be ready for the initial phases of construction after the 10-day appeal period ends.

The project’s unanimous approval will allow Tesla and PG&E to work together to build a system capable of storing wind and solar power that will, in turn, be used during periods of high-energy usage. The project has the potential to become one of the largest battery storage facilities in the world as it can give 730-megawatt hours (MWh) of renewable energy during off-peak hours. Tesla’s contract with PG&E states that this could be bumped up to 1.095 GWh of energy storage in the future.

The addition of the new energy storage facility will become the second element of the Moss Landing power plant’s transition to sustainable energy. The first portion of the project was won by Texas-based company Vistra Energy in May 2019, which is building a 1,200 MWh facility on the nearby Dynegy power plant grounds.

Representatives from PG&E will be working to expedite the process, and the company has stated that crews will be on-site six days a week. The project was initially scheduled to be finished by the end of 2019, but was met with delays and held up for several months. There are no estimates as to when the new facility will be built as PG&E representatives declined to comment further to the Monterey Herald.

With the Moss Landing battery’s approval, Tesla’s growing energy business may have just landed one of its largest projects to date. The new storage facility in California will store nearly eight-and-a-half times as much energy as Tesla’s Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia, which is already setting records of its own. As Elon Musk ramps up Tesla’s energy solutions in the past months with the unveiling of new residential technologies, commercial energy storage is also being pursued by the company as it assists communities with their own respective transitions towards renewable energy.

Tesla and PG&E eye massive 1GWh Megapack project involving wind and solar
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