Texas-based Vistra, one of the largest power generators in the United States, recently announced that its DeCordova Energy Storage Facility in Granbury, Texas is online and storing and releasing electricity to the ERCOT.
The 260 MW/260 MWh battery energy storage project is the largest of its kind in Texas to date. This project is part of the $1 billion investment that Vistra is making within the Texas ERCOT market, and is the second of seven new zero-carbon projects Vistra is bringing online in Texas over the next few years as part of its Vistra Zero portfolio.
“As our fleet and electric grids across the country transition to cleaner generation, we haven’t lost sight of our essential role in providing reliable, affordable electricity. The battery storage technology at DeCordova accomplishes those objectives – providing instantaneous-start, dispatchable generation to help balance the intermittency of renewable energy as the electric grid transitions to low-to-zero-carbon resources,” said Curt Morgan, CEO of Vistra.
The DeCordova Energy Storage Facility has more than 3,000 individual lithium-ion battery modules, which can store enough electricity to power approximately 130,000 homes. The battery containers as well as inverters were supplied by Sungrow, the project integrator. Mortenson provided the engineering and construction, which was complete in less than one year.
The DeCordova storage facility is co-located with a quick-start natural gas power plant. “This pairing means we essentially have a large, one-hour battery system with dispatchable, reliable generation, leading to continuity of operation and resiliency of the grid,” said Jim Burke, Vistra president and chief financial officer. “In addition, these gas-fueled generation units have seven days of diesel backup in the event of any disruption of natural gas supplies, which is yet another example of the resiliency aspect of the Decordova site.”
Under the Vistra Zero portfolio, the company now has nearly 3,300 MW online with plans for 7,300 MW of zero-carbon generation by 2026. The Vistra Zero has a goal of retiring 8,000 MW of fossil-fuel powered plants by 2027.
In addition to the DeCordova project, Vistra plans to complete the 108 MW Emerald Grove Solar Facility in Crane County, Texas. And while some think that everything is bigger in Texas, Vistra also owns and operates the 400MW/1,600 MWh battery energy storage system in Moss Landing, California, the largest of its kind in the world. The Moss Landing site was in the news less than a year after it was completed, as it was knocked offline when an unspecified number of batteries overheated. Following the incident Vistra reported that the fire was likely not caused by the batteries.
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Another sad waste of lithium…when more common/abundant elements will do just fine (for non-moving batteries).
While true that other types of batteries would be more suitable for stationary storage right now the price of those batteries hasn’t caught up to lithium so if we want to reduce emissions as fast as possible we need solutions that will be good enough and not as the saying goes “let perfect be the enemy of good enough”
another thing to add is that the lithium from these batteries can be recycled back into new batteries in a few decades so as technology changes they can be repurposed for more specialized uses.
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