Tesla Just Built the Largest Battery Storage Plant in the World
The installation, located in southern California, proves that Tesla is more than just an electric car company.
Electric cars were once predicted to cause mass brown-outs in California, but Tesla may be able to prevent that from happening. The company better known for building electric vehicles has brought a 80 megawatt-hour storage plant online in Mira Loma, California—giving the town the largest of electricity storage plant of its kind in the world.
The installation is made up of 396 lithium-ion battery packs that together are capable of powering 2,500 households for a day, according to Southern California Edison, which contracted with Tesla last September to build the battery storage facility. Even more impressive number : It was built, assembled, and brought online in only three months.
Its development was expedited by the California Public Utilities Commission as a response to mitigate energy shortages created by a leak in Southern California Gas Company's natural gas storage last year. The installation is intended to help California alleviate heavy demands on the power grid in evenings, particularly as the adoption of electric vehicles rise. Excess solar energy generated during the day can be stored in the Mira Loma plant, and used in the evening as residents return to their homes and recharge their EVs.
Tesla began producing the cylindrical battery cells that go into its battery packs earlier this year, and its rapid success could spur a growing battery storage energy revenue stream for Tesla, which isn't currently represented in its earnings forecasts. According to CNBC, Ben Kallo, an analyst with Baird Funds, wrote in a note to clients, "We believe TSLA's energy storage business and growth opportunity is not currently reflected in share prices. We believe TSLA battery sales are accelerating, and we should see additional benefits from the battery production ramp coinciding with the launch of the Model 3."