Big Battery — The Missing Piece In The Renewables Puzzle
The Moss Landing Power Plant in Monterey Bay, Northern California has been largely inactive and mothballed. Now, it’s ready to begin a new life as the site of the world’s largest battery that will store energy from solar and wind farms.
The problem with solar and wind power is that it’s only available when there is sunshine and enough wind, but a huge battery might solve this problem by storing the excess energy and feeding it back into the grid when needed.
According to Yale Environment 360, the 300-megawatt lithium ion battery will be able to discharge enough electricity to power about 300,000 Californian homes for four hours during evenings, heatwaves, and other times when energy demand outstrips supply.
“California is currently the global leader in the effort to balance the intermittency of renewable energy in electric grids with high-capacity batteries. But the rest of the world is rapidly following suit. Recently announced plans range from a 409-megawatt system in South Florida, to a 320-megawatt plant near London, England, to a 200-megawatt facility in Lithuania and a 112-megawatt unit in Chile.”
By smoothing imbalances between oversupply and shortage, these big batteries will make renewable sources much more competitive with fossil fuels.
That is definitely something we all hope for.
Nikola uses his background in electrical engineering to break down complex sustainability topics for GreenCitizen’s readers. He is a firm believer in environmental conservation, which he practices daily through recycling and home-grown food. He enjoys hiking, engaging in white-water sports, and collecting pocket knives.