A California Utility Announces 770 Megawatts of Battery Storage. That’s a Lot.

Battery storage is a vital part of a cleaner grid because it helps to fill in the gaps left by the fact that wind and solar are intermittent resources. And, like wind and solar, the growth of battery storage is closely tied to a decrease in its costs.

The combination of high need and falling costs means we are seeing new projects on a scale we’ve never seen before, including a whopper announced in California.

The utility Southern California Edison said it will work with developers to build seven lithium-ion battery storage projects that add up to an eye-popping 770 megawatts, which is more than all of the battery storage projects commissioned in the country last year and enough to power a small city. The projects each use four-hour battery systems.

This is an important part of fighting climate change because the combination of renewable energy and battery storage can function much like a traditional power plant, capable of being dispatched when needed by grid operators during times of high demand, and replacing the functions that are now mostly carried out by natural gas power plants.

Southern California Edison says construction will be complete by August 2021, which is a quick turnaround, especially considering the size of the projects.

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