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Big Battery to Power Up Renewable Use in LA


batteries-106352_1280We may not have elemental power crystals, but we’re now able to build big batteries that can power huge robots like Voltron, or even a big county like LA. AES Southland was recently awarded a contract by Los Angeles county power utility, Southern California Edison (SCE), “to provide 100 MW of interconnected battery-based energy storage.”

The AES Southland battery bested 1,800 offers in a competitive bidding for peak power management. It outlasted other alternatives (Energizer bunny style) that included “thermal generation, demand response, preferred resources and energy storage.” It shows that the technology of utility scale battery based energy storage has arrived and is now competitive with other energy management alternatives.

The battery will have a capacity of 400 MWh and will be built at the Alamitos Power Center in Long Beach, California. It is expected to come online by 2021.

SCE currently meets peak demand in Los Angeles by using gas-fired peaking plants which burn more gas per kilowatt-hour than base plants. Unfortunately, this not only results in higher bills for customers, but higher greenhouse gas emissions as well.

The big battery provides SCE with “unmatched operational flexibility” that allows them to choose the best generating plants to meet energy demand. This not only results in lower costs, but emissions as well, as it enables SCE’s grid to make the most of renewable power sources, such as solar rooftops, in its franchise area.

So while we don’t have Voltron to defend our universe, the AES Southland battery will at least help us defend our atmosphere from greenhouse gas emissions.

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