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Tesla secures massive new Megapack project that replaces gas peaker plant

Tesla has secured a massive new Megapack project that is being deployed in lieu of a planned gas peaker plant in California.

Peaker plants are power plants that electric utilities only turn on to briefly provide power during peak demand.

They are costly and polluting.

Tesla aims to help replace them and avoid building new ones with battery packs used as stationary energy storage.

The idea is that giant battery systems would charge from the grid when demand is low and discharge at peak demand to help reduce the peak of power production.

Ventura County, California was going to allow the construction of a new gas-fired power plant by NRG Energy to supply peak power to Southern California Edison, but the electric utility pivoted to energy storage instead and plans to deploy several battery systems.

Last month, they selected Strata Solar to develop the biggest of those battery systems, a 100 MW/400 MWh battery energy storage system.

Interestingly, Strata Solar built its own battery systems in large containers (pictured above) before, but it has now announced that it selected the Tesla Megapack for the new project with Southern California Edison:

“Strata Solar today announced its landmark battery project, Ventura Energy Storage (VES), a 100-megawatt, 400-megawatt hour battery energy storage system in unincorporated Ventura County, California, has completed pre-construction development. The Project, developed by Strata, has awarded an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract to Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) for the state-of-the-art Megapack battery system. Construction, using local union labor, is scheduled to commence in July 2020.”

The automaker launched “Megapack” last year through its “Tesla Energy” division.

It’s the company’s latest energy storage product, after the Powerpack and the Powerwall, and it is meant as an even bigger option targeting electric utility projects.

According to Tesla, a single Megapack has up to 3MWh of storage capacity and a 1.5MW inverter.

The company’s energy storage business has found some success with electric utility companies through the years with its Powerpack, but the competition has been offering bigger options, and now Megapack is Tesla’s response.

By integrating everything into the unit, Tesla claims that it takes almost half the space and gets installed much faster than other products:

At the site level, Megapack requires 40% less space and 10x fewer parts than current systems on the market. As a result, this high-density, modular system can be installed 10x faster than current systems.

Tesla is starting to have some success with the Megapack, which has been selected for several major energy storage projects, like this one.

To understand the scale, this new project has more than 3 times the energy capacity of the 100 MW/129 MWh Tesla Powerpack project in South Australia, which has been known as “the biggest battery in the world.”

The new Megapack project in Ventura is going to start construction next month.

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