World’s largest batteries hiding in Colorado bids
Xcel Energy’s December 2017 solicitation results contain bids for energy storage projects at least as large as the current world’s largest under construction, and far larger than the world’s biggest running batteries.
Currently, the world’s largest operating battery is located in Australia – a 100 MW/400 MWh battery located at the Hornsdale Power Reserve built by Tesla. The largest battery (or series of batteries) under construction is a 200 MW/800 MWh vanadium flow battery located in China.
In December of 2017, Xcel Energy released a collection of hundreds of bids for its latest solicitation that set the analyst world on fire, largely because solar and wind median prices are 2.95¢ per kilowatt-hour (kWh) and 1.81¢/kWh, respectively – meaning that half the bids received were at prices lower than these.
What really caught everyone’s attention though was the price of the energy storage that complemented these wind and solar bids. The wind plus battery storage bid increased from 1.81¢/kWh to 2.1¢/kWh – less than 0.3¢/kWh (less than a third of a penny per kWh!) to add energy storage, and solar increased from 2.95¢/kWh to 3.6¢/kWh – 0.65¢/kWh to add storage.
This isn’t too far from the Arizona bid we saw offer 3¢/kWh for 100 MW of straight solar, and ”less than 4.5¢/kWh‘ for 30 MWh worth of that solar coming from a battery – a 1.5¢/kWh adder.
What caught our attention, and what may not have been fully appreciated yet is the size of some of these battery bids.
he first half of the storage bids above – the stand alone portion – may not get the same consideration (see pages 4-8 of the solicitation report) as a solar or wind+storage project, however, they still may be considered a part of Phase II of the bid. However, those stand alone batteries – eight of them in total – starting with the 50 MW/8hr duration might just be tied with the largest in the world.
That 50MW/8hr battery would be tied with the Tesla Australia batteries in terms of total MWh that could be delivered (400MWh). The 150 MW with a 10 hour direction would have a 1500 MWh rating. That would be the largest planned anywhere in the world at this moment – and four of the batteries on that list would qualify for that world’s largest crown.