World’s largest lithium-based energy storage system storing 1,200 MWh of power now online in California

The Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility, located just south of San Francisco, California, has been connected to the power grid and began storing energy on Dec. 11, 2020. At 300 MW/1,200 MWh, this lithium-ion battery-based energy storage system is likely the largest in the world. The system is located on-site at Vistra’s Moss Landing Power Plant.

The inverters outside the building housing the lithium-ion battery banks.

Construction is already underway on Phase II, which will add an additional 100 MW/400 MWh to the facility by August 2021, bringing the site’s total storage capacity to 400 MW/1,600 MWh.

“This is a keystone project and it is important in so many ways – it revitalizes an existing power plant site and utilizes active transmission lines, enhances grid stability, fills the reliability gap created by intermittent renewables, provides emission-free electricity, supports California’s sustainability goals and mandates, significantly benefits the local community, and ultimately provides affordable electricity to consumers,” said Curt Morgan, chief executive officer of Vistra. “A battery system of this size and scale has never been built before. As our country transitions to a clean energy future, batteries will play a pivotal role and the Vistra Moss Landing project will serve as the model for utility-scale battery storage for years to come.”

Each battery rack contains 22 individual battery modules. Credit: Vistra

Housed inside the power plant’s completely refurbished former turbine building and spanning the length of nearly three football fields, Phase I of the battery system is made up of more than 4,500 stacked battery racks or cabinets, each containing 22 individual battery modules, which capture excess electricity from the grid, largely during high solar-output hours, and can release the power when energy demand is at its highest and solar electricity is declining, usually early morning and late afternoon.

Phases I and II of the Vistra Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility are backed up by long-term resource adequacy contracts with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E).

“We appreciate the strong working relationship we’ve developed with PG&E on multiple projects and look forward to continuing to help meet its resource adequacy requirements and provide clean, reliable, and affordable power to Californians,” Morgan said.

Vistra’s Moss Landing site provides a unique opportunity for extensive future expansion of the battery system. With its existing infrastructure and the physical space for potential growth, this industrial-zoned site can support up to 1,500 MW/6,000 MWh of storage capacity should market and economic conditions support it. With the development permit already in place and the site in condition for expansion, Vistra will be able to move quickly when that time comes.

News item from Vistra