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Tesla is Building a Massive Battery to Connect to the Texas Power Grid

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【Summary】Tesla subsidiary Gambit Energy Storage LLC is building a giant energy storage battery that will be connected to the Texas power grid, Bloomberg reports. The massive battery could power roughly 20,000 homes on a hot summer day. Public documents confirmed Tesla’s role in the project.

Eric Walz    Mar 08, 2021 7:55 AM PT
Tesla is Building a Massive Battery to Connect to the Texas Power Grid
Each Tesla Megapack can store up to 3 megawatt-hours of electricity. (Photo: Tesla)

The recent power outages that left millions of Texas residents without power in the middle of a record cold spell has put the focus on the state's mismanaged power grid. As temperatures dropped to below freezing in Texas last month, coal and natural gas power plants, which supply a bulk of the state's electricity, were knocked offline. 

Now the state is getting some help from Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk. Bloomberg reports that Tesla subsidiary Gambit Energy Storage LLC is building a giant energy storage battery that will be connected to the state's power grid. The massive battery could power roughly 20,000 homes on a hot summer day.  

The 100-megawatt energy storage project is being built in Angleton, Texas, according to Bloomberg.

Bloomberg reported that workers at the construction site discouraged onlookers and attempted to keep the equipment under cover. But a Tesla logo could be seen on a worker's hard hat and public documents confirmed Tesla's role in the project.

Bloomberg uncovered property records on file with Brazoria County in Texas show Gambit Energy Storage shares the same address as a Tesla facility near the company's factory in Fremont, California. In addition, a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lists Gambit as a Tesla subsidiary. 

Tesla could not be reached for comment.

The mid-February winter storms temporarily knocked out around half the state's power generating plants, triggering widespread power outages that resulted in dozens of deaths. It also pushed power prices per kilowatt to ten times their normal rate, resulting in home electric bills reaching into the thousands of dollars. 

Ironically Texas Governor Greg Abbott blamed the power failures on solar and wind power, something that Tesla has been a champion of. However solar and wind produced energy accounts for just a small fraction of the state's electricity. The rest comes from natural gas and coal-fired power plants.

Tesla is currently building its second U.S. factory near Austin Texas. The plant will build Tesla's futuristic Cybertruck. Tesla is also building a battery storage system in its home state of California.

Last summer, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and Tesla began construction on a 182.5 megawatt lithium ion battery storage system in Monterey County, California. The design, construction and maintenance operations will be joint effort both by the San Francisco-based utility and Tesla. Once completed, the partners said the project will be the largest utility-owned, li-ion battery energy storage system in the world.

The project in California includes the installation of 256 Tesla Megapack batteries on 33 concrete slabs. The Megapacks are being built at the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada. Each one can store up to 3 MWh of electricity per unit.

The battery storage system in California is expected to provide about $100 million worth of savings to PG&E over the project's 20-year lifespan. 

PG&E deployed its first lithium-ion energy storage system, featuring Tesla's Powerpack technology in Feb 2017 at its Browns Valley substation, located approximately 50 miles north of the state's capital Sacramento.


resource from: Bloomberg

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