Planned energy storage facility will replace natural-gas power plant


1. Sustainability Problem

Energy: energy demand in cities fluctuates over the course of the day. In west LA, this means that during non-peak hours renewable solar and wind electricity goes unused, while during peak hours the electricity supply is supplemented with extra non-renewable natural gas generation.

2. Technology Article Summary

Will the world’s largest storage battery be America’s energy cure?

by John Fialka
Published 7/7/2016 on E&E Publishing LLC at

  • California’s Public Utilities Commission has set ambitious targets to cut GHG emissions by 80% by 2050, and requires utilities to build storage capacity to help meet this goal.
  • The utility for west Los Angeles, Southern California Edison Co. opened bids to replace their “peaker” – the gas-fired power plant that they use to meet peak demand, and selected an offer from battery designer AES Corp., over 1 800 other offers.
  • AES Corp. aim to install a 100 MW power storage facility at Long Beach to store excess electricity generated during off-peak hours and release it back to the grid during peak times. The facility is planned for a 2021 completion and will contain 18 000 battery modules.
  • While this could solve the energy peak problem in the long term, significant energy shortages are still expected over the next five years before the project is finished.

3. Organizational Stakeholders

The planned facility will serve west LA. Stakeholders will include:

  • The utility, Southern California Edison Co.
  • End users of electricity
  • Homeowners with solar panels currently selling electricity to the grid (prices likely to be affected)

4. Deployment

The next three stages in deploying this technology could be:

  • AES: develop the 100 MW facility by 2021
  • Southern California Edison Co.: connect the storage facility to the distribution grid, and decommission the gas-powered peaker
  • Other utilities in California: identify opportunities for similar systems to replace non-renewable power plants and help meet Public Utilities Commission requirements

See also: for an overview of AES Corp’s successful installation of an energy storage solution for a wind farm in Laurel Mountain, West Virginia



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