Tesla has been selected to build a 20 megawatt/80 megawatt-hour power storage facility at Southern California Edison’s Mira Loma substation in Ontario, California. The massive battery facility will contain enough energy to power 2,500 homes for a day, or charge 1,000 Tesla cars, Tesla says.
The system will use Tesla’s Powerpack industrial energy storage system, with final manufacturing happening at its Gigafactory facility in Sparks, Nevada. At an event at the Gigafactory earlier this year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he thought the stationary energy storage business would "have a growth rate probably several times that of what the car business is per year," calling it a "super-exponential growth rate."
The project came out of a competitive bidding process following the Aliso Canyon gas leak. The goal was to reduce the region’s dependence on natural gas to manage peak energy consumption by installing new power storage systems. A number of firms have been selected to provide energy storage at sites across California. The initiative follows an emergency order from California Governor Jerry Brown, which tasked the California Public Utilities Commission with ensuring the reliability of the grid following the Aliso Canyon disaster. California has been planning on implementing energy storage for a few years, but the project has seen new urgency in the aftermath of Aliso. The previous plans called for a statewide total of 1,325 megawatts of energy storage by 2020.
The Tesla storage facility, along with the other facilities from its competitors, will allow utilities to "time shift" electricity from off-peak hours — when energy generation is plentiful — to peak times. That would theoretically avoid the need for additional power plants to come online solely to handle short bursts of extremely high demand.
Pricing was not released, but Tesla said the project would be delivered and installed before the end of the year. Additionally, the company will be acting as its own general contractor, just as it’s doing in the construction of the Gigafactory.