Thanks to advances in electric vehicles from Tesla, Ford, GM, Chrysler, Toyota, Kia, and other car manufacturers, this technology has helped pave the way for Tesla’s new battery storage facilities it recently opened in Southern California. Battery storage technology and the knowledge to build battery storage facilities are roughly a decade old, but their use and implementation have been slow to catch on, partly due to the costs of batteries large enough for these types of projects.
Tesla’s new plants, along with others built during the last year, now only account for around 15% of the world’s total battery storage plants. This number is expected to continue to increase in the coming years, with even more battery storage facilities going online. By 2020, California, alone, anticipates drastically reducing the current “peaker” plants they use to meet demands during peak hours in the mornings and evenings.
“Peaker” plants only operate when the demand for electricity increases beyond what is presently available on the grid. Most “peaker” plants in California use natural gas to create electricity. The long-term objective in California is to remove all types of fossil fuels from the power grid completely. Instead, they would be replaced by battery storage plants, solar panels, and wind turbines.
Tesla’s battery storage plants are among the largest ever built. The projects came about as a result of the natural gas leak that occurred near Los Angeles a few years ago when methane gas escaped into the air. Before the leak could be sealed, which took until February 2016 to complete, thousands of tons of gas escaped into the air.
Southern California Edison decided it was time to look for an alternative solution to “peaker” plants and, also, needed to implement a plan to prevent anticipated rolling brown-outs this winter. Thus, the Tesla battery storage plants were born.
Tesla, along with Atagas Ltd., and AES Corporation, completed all three of the new facilities within a six-month timeframe – all three were completed within six months, and, equally impressive, was that it only took Tesla three months to complete one of the projects. In the past, it would have taken years to accomplish what was done in six months.
These battery storage facilities will draw power from the grid throughout the day when demand is low. Then, in the evenings when demand peaks, the batteries will supply the extra power and will now serve as the system’s new “peaker” plants.
The State of California has set a goal to add more battery facilities and be able to provide at least 1.32 gigawatts of power to the system by 2020. Tesla, on the other hand, has a more ambitious goal and wants to be able to deliver at least 15 gigawatts of power by 2020.
As you can see, the batteries used in electric and hybrid vehicles are helping shape the future of supplying power to our homes. Remember to stop by Bloomington Ford to check out our selections of electric and hybrid vehicles or call us at 812-331-2200 today!