The Supersized Future Of Energy Storage
In the battery industry, records seem set to be broken almost as soon as they are hit. This is what may be about to happen with the largest battery storage system to date, if a California company gets all the permits it needs to build a 350-MW installation in the desert near Palm Springs.
When Tesla completed its 100 MW/129 MWh last year, it became a hallmark in the evolution of renewable power, signaling that the race for bigger and better storage systems was just beginning. Now, Recurrent Battery has staked its own claim in this race.
The San Francisco-based company is the U.S. unit of Canadian Solar and it has plans to build a 350-MW solar farm in the California desert along with a battery storage system of the same size. The Crimson project will span 2,500 acres. However, it is far from certain it will be completed.
The idea is certainly great. Tesla’s battery can power several tens of thousands of households. This one—if built—would power three times that, reducing this part of California’s dependence on natural gas power plants. These are now used after sunset for lack of enough solar energy storage installations. But the key is to find a buyer for the energy that will be produced by the solar farm—and this client needs to be large enough to justify the investment.