Vistra brings world’s largest utility-scale battery energy storage system online

Flagship of company’s Vistra Zero portfolio will provide affordable, zero-carbon electricity, bolster reliability of California’s power grid

Vistra announced that its Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility connected to the power grid and began operating on Dec. 11, 2020. At 300 megawatts/1,200 megawatt-hours, the lithium-ion battery storage system, located on-site at Vistra’s Moss Landing Power Plant in Monterey County, California, will be the largest of its kind in the world. Furthermore, construction is already underway on Phase II, which will add an additional 100 MW/400 MWh to the facility by August 2021, bringing its total capacity to 400 MW/1,600 MWh.

This is a keystone project and it is important in so many ways – it revitalizes an existing power plant site and utilizes active transmission lines, enhances grid stability, fills the reliability gap created by intermittent renewables, provides emission-free electricity, supports California’s sustainability goals and mandates, significantly benefits the local community, and ultimately provides affordable electricity to consumers,” said Curt Morgan, chief executive officer of Vistra. “A battery system of this size and scale has never been built before. As our country transitions to a clean energy future, batteries will play a pivotal role and the Vistra Moss Landing project will serve as the model for utility-scale battery storage for years to come.”  

Housed inside the power plant’s completely refurbished former turbine building and spanning the length of nearly three football fields, Phase I of the battery system can power approximately 225,000 homes during peak electricity pricing periods. The system is made up of more than 4,500 stacked battery racks or cabinets, each containing 22 individual battery modules, which capture excess electricity from the grid, largely during high solar-output hours, and can release the power when energy demand is at its highest and solar electricity is declining, usually early morning and late afternoon.

Phases I and II of the Vistra Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility are backed up by long-term resource adequacy contracts with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E).

We appreciate the strong working relationship we’ve developed with PG&E on multiple projects and look forward to continuing to help meet its resource adequacy requirements and provide clean, reliable, and affordable power to Californians,” Morgan said.

Vistra’s Moss Landing site provides a unique opportunity for extensive future expansion of the battery storage system. With its existing infrastructure and the physical space for potential growth, this world-class industrial-zoned site can support up to 1,500 MW/6,000 MWh of storage capacity should market and economic conditions support it. With the development permit already in place and the site in condition for expansion, Vistra will be able to move quickly when that time comes.

Vistra is a market leader in utility-scale battery energy storage development and commercialization. Its Moss Landing project is the flagship of its 4,000-MW zero-carbon Vistra Zero portfolio, which includes a total of five battery projects in California and Texas:

  • Upton 2 (10 MW/42 MWh) – online December 2018
  • Moss Landing – Phase I (300 MW/1,200 MWh) – online December 2020
  • Moss Landing – Phase II (100 MW/400 MWh) – expected online by August 2021
  • Oakland (36.25 MW/145 MWh) – expected online 2022
  • DeCordova (260 MW/260 MWh) – expected online 2022

Support for Vistra Moss Landing Energy Storage Project

California State Senator John Laird said, “As the largest of its kind in the world, the Vistra Zero Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility will store renewable energy, releasing it when it is needed most. It is meaningful, ambitious projects like these that will help to pave the way to a 100% clean energy future for California and the rest of the world.”

Monterey County Supervisor John M. Phillips said, “When people think about Moss Landing energy, they usually envision the landmark power plant and its two tall smokestacks. In fact, Vistra’s Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility will be the largest battery storage facility of its kind in the world and will provide a tremendous amount of reliable, clean energy. Vistra continues to be an outstanding community partner and reliable steward of the historic Moss Landing Power Plant.”