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Fri Sep 4, 2020, 05:01 AM

The world's largest battery could be the answer to California blackouts

Move over, Australia ó California has stolen the claim for largest battery installation in the world. In the middle of a vicious heatwave where demand for air conditioning led to rolling blackouts, an energy development company called LS Power was working hard to add more lithium-ion batteries to its Gateway Energy Storage project in San Diego.

As of last Monday, the facility is now capable of storing and dispatching 230 megawatts to the Golden Stateís grid for one hour, and is set to beef up to 250 megawatts later this month. That knocks the previous titleholder, Teslaís 100-megawatt Horndale Power Reserve in South Australia, out of the water. Sorry, Elon.

California aims to run its grid entirely on fossil fuel-free energy by 2045 and has been closing down dirty power plants and ramping up renewables at a steady clip. But while fuels can supply a steady stream of energy, the sun and wind are intermittent. Thatís where large-capacity batteries like the Gateway project come in, storing excess energy during peak solar hours and dispatching it back to the grid in the evening when the sun is down but demand is still high. Battery installations havenít kept pace with power plant shutdowns, which created the tight supply that resulted in blackouts last week.

Steve Berberich, the president and CEO of the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), which oversees the stateís electricity system, has said it will eventually need as much as 15,000 megawatts of battery storage to reach the stateís clean energy goal. In that context, the Gateway project is a drop in the bucket. But Berberich has called it a turning point in a series of large-capacity projects that are coming online this year.

Read more: https://www.hcn.org/articles/energy-industry-the-worlds-largest-battery-could-be-the-answer-to-california-blackouts
(High Country News)

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Reply The world's largest battery could be the answer to California blackouts (Original post)
TexasTowelie Sep 4 OP
Sherman A1 Sep 4 #1
hunter Sep 4 #2
Mr.Bill Sep 4 #3

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Fri Sep 4, 2020, 05:52 AM

1. Cool

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Fri Sep 4, 2020, 01:21 PM

2. All these do is give gas fired power plants time to start up when wind or solar power sags.

Currently gas power plants are left running on standby, hot and spinning, but not exporting power to the grid, so they can pick up the load instantly when wind or solar power sags.

Batteries may reduce the amount of gas wasted by plants running on standby and also reduce the risk of grid crashes and programmed blackouts when large blocks of solar and wind resources drop out suddenly, which happens, weather being what it is.

The viability of wind energy as a sustainable electricity source is an illusion propped up by natural gas and increasingly desperate Rube Goldberg solutions to problems of grid stability such as batteries.

Typically, in a fully built out wind system, the majority of the power produced over time will still be supplied by fossil fuels, typically natural gas. There comes a point when more wind turbines do not displace any more natural gas, they simply generate electricity that can't be sold. Batteries won't solve this problem because periods of excess wind generated electricity that can't be sold, or insufficient wind power, can last for weeks. The capacity of even huge battery systems is measured in hours, not weeks.

Germany is currently trying to decrease its dependence on coal with natural gas imports. The USA is trying to sell Germany liquefied natural gas LNG as an alternative to pipeline gas imports from Russia.

France eliminated their dependence on coal generated electricity by embracing nuclear power. The last coal mine in France closed in 1992. Germany is still mining coal for power.

The only way to "save the world" is to leave fossil fuels in the ground. To quit fossil fuels we have to quit fossil fuels by fiat. No alternative energy schemes are going to replace fossil fuels by some magic hand of the free market.

If we choose to live in a high energy industrial economy then nuclear power is the only sustainable way to do that. There are several modern nuclear power plant designs that are walk-away safe and able to burn materials that are now considered waste, including used fuel from existing light water reactors. There's enough of this waste, already in storage, to power the U.S.A. for a century or more. We could also get rid of weapons grade plutonium.

Personally I don't think hybrid natural gas / wind power schemes are worthy of promotion. They won't save the world, they scar the natural environment, and they are just plain ugly.

Wind power enthusiasts inevitably dismiss the environmental impacts of natural gas because natural gas is keeping their fantasy alive.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Fri Sep 4, 2020, 01:52 PM

3. One thing I am certain of.

Whatever they do will make my electric bill go up. I live in an 800 sq ft mobile home. My electric bill last month was $330.00. That's more than my car payment and is three fifths of what I pay for my space rent.

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