10 notable battery storage projects that went live in 2021

Concept drawing of an energy storage system.

Battery storage is having its moment in the sun.

In its most recent Electricity Monthly Update, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said that when it totals up the numbers for 2021, it expects they will show that battery storage capacity grew by 4.5 GW, or 300%, in the year just ended.

“Declining cost for battery storage applications, favorable economics when deployed with renewable energy (predominantly wind and solar PV), and value-added additions in regional transmission organization (RTO) markets have helped drive the expansion of battery storage,” the EIA said.

The EIA expects 10 GW of battery storage capacity to come online in the next two years, more than 60% of which will be paired with solar generation facilities. 

FirmoGraphs monitors the projects involving that capacity from early stages of consideration to production. We track filings with utility regulators in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., as well as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and keep an eye on electric power industry news. We enter information from the documents we collect into our database, which we use to provide business intelligence to interested parties such as U.S. infrastructure contractors. 

The map below shows the location of 10 of the most notable battery storage projects in our database that came online last year with the size of the dots showing the total storage capacity at their sites. As you can see, four are in California, three are in Texas, two are in Arizona and one is in Florida.

Seven of them are stand-alone storage projects and are listed first in the table and descriptions below. At least seven have storage capacities of 100 MW or greater. The table shows the capacity added in 2021. 

Name Project Owner Capacity State
Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility, Phase II Vistra Corp. 100 MW/400 MWh California
North Fork Broad Reach Power 100 MW/100 MWh Texas
Bat Cave Broad Reach Power 100 MW/100 MWh Texas
Saticoy Arevon Asset Management 100 MW/400 MWh California
Gambit Energy Storage Tesla >100 MW/200 MWh Texas
RES Top Gun Energy Storage  Renewable Energy Systems (RES) and San Diego Gas & Electric 30 MW/120 MWh California
Bolster Substation Battery System Salt River Project 25 MW Arizona
FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center Florida Power and Light Company 409 MW/900 MWh Florida
Blythe II Solar Energy Center NextEra, Blythe Solar II, LLC 115 MW California
Wilmot Energy Center Tucson Electric Power 30 MW Arizona

100 MW Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility, Phase II

Irving, Texas-based Vistra Corp. made the big even bigger last July when it completed construction on Phase II of its Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility, which is located at the site of its retired gas-fired power plant in Monterey County, California. The second phase added 100 MW/400MWh of storage capacity to the facility, bringing its total capacity to 400MW/1,600 MWh. Vistra says the facility, which uses technology from LG Energy Solution, is the largest lithium-ion battery storage system in the world. Burns & McDonnell provided engineering, procurement, and construction expertise for the expansion, which was completed in less than a year. The Phase II project is operating under a 10-year resource adequacy agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric Company. The 300-MW/1,200-MWh Phase I project has a similar 20-year resource adequacy agreement with PG&E.

North Fork and Bat Cave 100 MW battery storage resources

Broad Reach Power said on November 2 that its first two transmission-level battery storage resources, North Fork and Bat Cave, were online and had been placed into service with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the Lone Star State’s grid. Each is a 100 MW/100 MWh greenfield battery storage resource, and both are located in central Texas. Broad Reach said they cost more than $100 million to build. Broad Reach now has 300 MW of dispatchable storage resources in ERCOT’s territory.

Saticoy 100 MW battery storage system

Arevon Asset Management announced in late June that it had opened the Saticoy battery storage system in Oxnard, California. The affiliate of Capital Dynamics completed the system, which uses 142 Tesla Megapacks, in nine months. Strata Clean Energy originally conceived of and developed the 100-MW/400-MWh system after Oxnard residents prevented the construction of a natural gas-fired peaker plant. Power from the system is being sold to Southern California Edison under a 20-year purchase-and-sale agreement.

Tesla 200 MWh battery storage facility

On September 30, Tesla announced through a video on its website that it had installed more than 81 Megapacks with a combined storage capacity of 200 MWh in Angleton, Texas. Earlier in the year, Bloomberg had sussed out the project while it was being built and concluded that it was the work of a Tesla subsidiary named Gambit Energy Storage LLC and that the capacity was at least 100 MW. The system is registered with ERCOT and located next to a Texas-New Mexico Power substation. In November, the Texas Public Utility Commission approved a Tesla subsidiary named Tesla Energy Ventures to operate as a Retail Electric Provider in the Lone Star State, according to The Texan. Tesla said the battery storage facility built by its Gambit subsidiary is participating in the Texas energy market overseen by ERCOT.

30 MW RES Top Gun Energy Storage

On September 21, Renewable Energy Systems (RES) and San Diego Gas & Electric announced that the RES Top Gun Energy Storage Project in San Diego had begun commercial operation. The 30 MW/120 MWh project is named after the naval aviation training program that used to be located at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, which is adjacent to it. Construction on the facility, which consists of more than 15,000 lithium-ion batteries in custom enclosures, began in early 2020. RES will provide operations and maintenance service for the facility.

Bolster Substation 25 MW battery storage facility

Salt River Project said on September 16 that it had placed a 25 MW battery storage facility at its Bolster Substation into service. The facility, which consists of a series of Tesla Megapacks connected to SRP’s energy grid, is currently the biggest standalone battery storage system in Arizona. It’s adjacent to SRP’s 626 MW Agua Fria Generating Station in the City of Peoria. SRP has two other battery storage projects, both of which are pilots. One is the Pinal Central Solar Energy Center, a 20 MW, integrated solar energy and battery storage plant in Casa Grande. The other is the Dorman battery storage system, a 10 MW/40 MWh stand-alone battery storage system in Chandler. SRP recently contracted for the output from the Sonoran Energy Center, which will be the largest solar-charged battery project in Arizona.

409 MW FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center

On December 13, Florida Power and Light Company unveiled the 409 MW/900 MWh Manatee Energy Storage Center, which gets electricity from the adjacent 74.5 MW Manatee Solar Energy Center. The Manatee Energy Storage Center consists of 132 energy storage containers, each of which holds roughly 400 battery modules, on 40 acres in Parrish, Florida. FPL says the Manatee Energy Storage Center is the world’s largest battery when measured by generating output and the world’s largest solar-powered battery when measured by both total output and capacity per hour. FPL is a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, meaning it’s a sister company of NextEra Energy Resources LLC, which is the world’s largest generator of solar and wind power and a world leader in battery storage. 

FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center

Blythe Solar II LLC 115 MW battery storage system

On January 6,, Blythe Solar II LLC synchronized the 115 MW battery storage system collocated with its 131.2 MW solar generating facility in Riverside County, California, with the grid, according to a Notice of Change in Status filing that its parent, NextEra Energy Resources LLC, made with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The 115 MW battery storage system at NextEra’s Blythe II Solar Energy Center is one of six battery storage systems with nearly 700 MW of capacity that the company plans to construct at existing solar facilities in California by the end of 2022.

Wilmot Energy Center with 30 MW battery storage

Tucson Electric Power said it started delivering power from its Wilmot Energy Center at the end of April. The center’s main feature is a 100 MW solar array, but it also has 30 MW of linked battery storage. To interconnect them to its grid, TEP built a 138-kV substation, transmission lines and a switchyard. The company said the WEC cost about $25 million to build. TEP also has two 10 MW battery systems it uses for frequency regulation and other functions that support service reliability, giving it 50 MW of storage capacity. It plans to increase its storage capacity to more than 1,400 MW over the next 15 years.

Source: Renewable Energy