Southern California Edison Opens Largest Battery Storage Facility in North America

October 2014

On September 24, 2014, Southern California Edison (SCE) unveiled the Tehachapi Energy Storage Project, the largest battery energy storage system (BESS) in North America. The 32-MWh demonstration project will use lithium-ion batteries to evaluate the ability of BESSs to improve grid performance and assist in the integration of large-scale variable renewable energy resources like wind and solar power.

Key Details

  • The project is strategically located at a substation near the Tehachapi Wind Resource Area, a region projected to generate 4.5 GW of wind energy by 2016
  • The project features 604,832 lithium-ion battery cells, housed in 10,872 modules of 56 cells each, stacked in 604 racks arranged in rows
  • $50 million in project costs were covered by matching funds from SCE and the U.S. Department of Energy as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
  • In 2013, the California Public Utilities Commission established a 1,325-MW energy storage procurement target for the state’s three investor-owned electric utilities

Implications

The Tehachapi Energy Storage Project is a major step forward in using large-scale battery storage to integrate renewables and support grid stability. As part of California’s broader energy storage procurement target, projects such as this will help define the BESS market in the United States. These early projects will test cost effectiveness of BESS technologies, evaluate the value of storage at different grid locations, and encourage the development of competing business models.

More Information

SCE Press Release: SCE Unveils Largest Battery Energy Storage Project in North America

SmartGrid.Gov: Southern California Edison Company, Tehachapi Wind Energy Storage Project

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Contributing Authors

Paul Quinlan Clean Tech Manager

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