(October 19, 2020)
Vistra Energy is set to become the first power company in the world to construct a gigawatt-scale battery storage project for the grid. Based in Irving, Texas, the company has been given permission to develop its Moss Landing storage facility in Monterey County, California, into a storage site with a capacity of 1.5 gigawatts/6,000 megawatt hours (MWh).
The development will increase the size of the Moss Landing facility four-fold. However, although approval has been granted, Vistra CEO Curtis Morgan is waiting to give the go-ahead for the project until “market and economic conditions” prove that it is necessary. Currently, it is expected that 400 megawatts of capacity will be online by 2021.
If the project is completed, it would represent a significant portion of total battery storage in the United States. At the end of 2019, according to Wood Mackenzie, total battery storage across the country amounted to 1.7 gigawatts.
Vistra has benefited from the fact that it could use an existing natural gas site at Moss Landing to develop the battery project. “Utilizing our existing power plant sites allows us to cost-competitively develop renewable and battery storage assets as we rotate our power generation portfolio toward carbon-free technologies,” commented Morgan.