Tesla battery system fires up in Irvine Co. office tower
A 100-foot crane slowly maneuvered a white, 3,475-pound box around a palm tree and parking lot lamppost before gingerly setting the heavy case alongside four others behind a 15-story office tower in Irvine.
The Irvine Company, Southern California Edison and San Francisco-based Advanced Microgrid Solutions, an energy-storage systems provider, on Thursday launched a pilot project that company executives said will permanently change Southern California’s energy grid.
The real estate giant recently struck an agreement with the storage system provider to install Tesla Powerpack battery systems at more than 20 of the company’s Irvine office buildings, starting with the tower at 20 Pacifica.
Once complete, the “hybrid-electric” buildings will pull power from the grid when it is least expensive and, as demand peaks, draw from the energy stored in the batteries. The system will cut use of peak power by 25 percent, according to Rich Bluth, Irvine Co.’s vice president of energy management.
Tenants at the building, near the I-405, includefinancial companies KPMG, an auditing firm, and wealth manager UBS. Next up is the adjacent tower, at 40 Pacifica, Bluth said. Neither Irvine Co. nor AMS would reveal the cost of the battery system.
Eventually Irvine Co. plans to have batteries installed at its buildings portfolio-wide. The company has more than 500 office buildings in California.
AMS Chief Executive Officer Susan Kennedy credited tech darling Telsa, known primarily as a car company, for developing technology to create a “cleaner, more efficient, smarter, more sophisticated world.”