What was it about Wind and solar energy being unreliable again? While some energy commentators continue to toss that old ball around, shrewd investors are pouring billions into new energy storage facilities that dispense clean kilowatts on demand. Money, as they say, talks, and the most recent example comes from the Golden State, California. California has abundant of Wind and solar electricity, as well as an ambitious renewable energy goal, making it the ideal location for large-scale clean energy projects like vast new energy storage facilities.
California is also an ideal location for demonstrating how existing, climate-killing fossil energy installations may be quickly converted to climate-action sites. Despite its image as an environmental warrior, the state has played a vital part in the US fossil energy industry. It’s dotted with oil and gas wells, as well as fossil power facilities and existing transmission lines, and some of them are ripe for renewable energy investors to plunder.
A good example is the new energy storage facility. The project is being spearheaded by Vistra, a diversified energy company. It’s being billed as the world’s largest battery-type storage facility, and they’re not kidding. The facility, which is located in Moss Landing near Monterey, California, began operations in 2020 and just completed an expansion, increasing its capacity to 400 megawatts or 1,600 megawatt-hours, depending on who is counting and why.
The development, according to Vistra, propelled Moss Landing into world record territory. That’s insignificant. Work on the first two phases has gone ahead of time, and Vistra is looking forward to the next phase, which will increase the plant’s capacity to 1,500 megawatts, or 6,000 megawatt-hours.