Tesla inaugurates 20 MW / 80 MWh battery system in Southern California

On Monday, Tesla officially inaugurated a 20 MW / 80 MWh battery storage system in Southern California, comprised of 396 Powerpack battery systems and 24 inverters. This is one of the largest battery storage systems to be put online to date.

Tesla Powerpack systems are based on Panasonic lithium-ion battery technology, which are produced in collaboration with Tesla. Due to a modular system, the battery project is connected to two different circuits at utility Southern California Edison’s (SCE) Mira Loma substation.

This one of three massive battery systems that were contracted by utility SCE in the wake of the Aliso Canyon gas leak. The months-long leak during the winter of 2015-2016 allowed the escape of 97,000 metric tons of methane and decimated SCE’s natural gas storage at its Aliso Canyon storage facility.

This in turn meant that SCE would not have supplies of natural gas during periods of peak demand. Under concerns of electric reliability risk, last May California regulators ordered SCE to rapidly procure utility-scale energy storage.

Tesla was awarded the Mira Loma project in September, and SCE reports that Tesla’s 80 MWh system was completed in only 88 days. And while the neither SCE nor the secretive electric vehicle and battery maker said exactly when the project was commissioned, Greensmith claimed last week that it put the first of three projects online.

However, it is not the largest battery system to come online last week in Southern California.