California ISO connects largest battery storage system in US to its grid

Published on July 16, 2020 by Dave Kovaleski

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The California Independent System Operator (ISO) added the largest battery storage connection in the nation to its power grid last month.

The LS Power Group’s Gateway Energy Storage Project came online in San Diego County on June 9, adding 62.5 megawatts (MW) of storage interconnection to the ISO grid, which serves about 80 percent of California and a small portion of Nevada. If all planned projects in the interconnection queue are completed on schedule, storage capacity will jump from 136 MW at the beginning of the year to 923 MW by the end of 2020.

“We are at a turning point for storage on our system,” Steve Berberich, ISO president and CEO, said. “For many years, we have understood the promise of storage to take oversupply off the grid in the middle of the day and deliver it at the end of the day when the need is great. With some of these large-capacity projects coming online, 2020 will be the transition year for battery storage to play a critical role in integrating renewables in the future.”

Berberich estimates that about 15,000 MW of battery storage is required to help the state reach its goal of cutting carbon from power grids by 100 percent by 2045. The ISO expects significant
increases in its battery storage resources through 2023.

The Gateway project is a lithium-ion battery system. It will have a total capacity of 250 MW when it is in full operation in August 2020. It will be the largest operating Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) in the world. But there are some larger projects are on the horizon, including plans for a 400 MW system in Florida, and a 380 MW system in Nevada. Also, there is a 400-MW project planned by Vistra Energy at Moss Landing in Monterey Bay.