Tesla to provide a 20 MW/80 MWh Powerpack system at the Southern California Edison Mira Loma substation

Last October, a catastrophic rupture in the Aliso Canyon natural gas reservoir caused a methane gas spill that displaced more than 8,000 Californians and released an unprecedented 1.6 million pounds of methane into the atmosphere. The Aliso Canyon leak is considered the worst in U.S. history, with aggregate greenhouse gas emissions said to outweigh those of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Following the disaster, authorities closed the Aliso Canyon facility, which had been feeding the network of natural gas peaker plants in the Los Angeles basin, deeming it unfit to store the fuel safely and environmentally.

One year later, Los Angeles is still in need of an electric energy solution that ensures reliability during peak times. As winter approaches, homes and buildings in the basin will need more natural gas for heat. These demands apply uncharacteristically high pressure to the energy system, exposing the Los Angeles basin to a heightened risk of rolling blackouts.

Following the leak, California Governor Jerry Brown issued a state of emergency, and in May, the California Public Utilities Commission mandated an accelerated procurement for energy storage. Southern California Edison, among other utilities, was directed to solicit a utility-scale storage solution that could be operational by December 31, 2016. Unlike traditional electric generators, batteries can be deployed quickly at scale and do not require any water or gas pipelines.

Last week, through a competitive process, Tesla was selected to provide a 20 MW/80 MWh Powerpack system at the Southern California Edison Mira Loma substation. Tesla was the only bidder awarded a utility-owned storage project out of the solicitation.