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Leon Kaye headshot

On Monterey Bay, World’s Largest Energy Storage System Just Got Larger

The community of Moss Landing, California hosts the world’s largest energy storage system in the world - and it just expanded by another one-third.
By Leon Kaye
Energy Storage

California’s Monterey Bay is known for several things: a world class aquarium, breathtaking scenery dominated by cypress trees and cliffs and if chardonnay is your thing, the grapes here have a sterling reputation. Now, along the center of the bay’s coastline, the tiny community of Moss Landing (pictured above) is known for hosting what its builders say is the world’s largest energy storage system in the world.

And another phase of construction has made this facility even larger.

As announced last week, Vistra’s Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility switched on a 100-megawatt expansion, which brings the facility’s total capacity to 400 megawatts, or 1,600 megawatt-hours. Since it launched in July 2020, the battery system stores power and releases it when needed to California’s power grid.

The energy storage facility, a partnership between Vistra and the utility PG&E, uses technology developed by LG Energy Solution. This array of lithium-ion batteries is located on the site of a power plant in Moss Landing that has generated electricity for more than 70 years. Vistra also worked with the engineering firm Burns & McDonnell during this expansion. As of now, the current plan is for Vistra and PG&E to operate the plant jointly for another 10 years.

The Moss Landing expansion builds upon additional clean technology investments Vistra has recently made. Last year the company announced it would invest about $5 billion by 2030 in renewables and battery energy storage. That sum includes close to $1 billion of development projects underway that the company says will help the company shift more of its portfolio toward facilities generating renewable power.

California will need more projects like this if it is to meet its long-term climate action goals. The state seeks to have renewables generate half of its power supply by 2030. The Golden State also is determined to have emissions fall below 80 percent of 1990 levels by mid-century.

Image credit: Gabriel Barranco/Unsplash

Leon Kaye headshot

Leon Kaye has written for 3p since 2010 and become executive editor in 2018. His previous work includes writing for the Guardian as well as other online and print publications. In addition, he's worked in sales executive roles within technology and financial research companies, as well as for a public relations firm, for which he consulted with one of the globe’s leading sustainability initiatives. Currently living in Central California, he’s traveled to 70-plus countries and has lived and worked in South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.

Leon’s an alum of Fresno State, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the University of Southern California's Marshall Business School. He enjoys traveling abroad as well as exploring California’s Central Coast and the Sierra Nevadas.

Read more stories by Leon Kaye