Op-Ed: California’s giant new batteries kept the lights on during the heat wave
Last week, when you heard about the record-breaking temperatures in Los Angeles County, you probably didn’t think much of it. Temperatures in the 110 degrees+ range typically occur only once a decade in the central and northern parts of the state, and haven’t hit as high as 115 degrees since the 1930s.
But the L.A. County Department of Water and Power (LADWP) in Southern California was one of the state’s major energy producers, producing more than 3,000 megawatts of power. And it was also behind the largest electric energy storage facility in the world.
That’s because LADWP was looking for an energy storage system that could store enough power to meet the region’s peak load of electricity — and also keep the rest of the power for when the rest of the world isn’t paying attention. The giant battery was just as big as the one in California’s San Onofre nuclear power plant, but the energy storage system was more than twice as large.
The battery system is called the LADWP Grid Hub battery, and it was deployed early last week.
“We have a lot of energy storage installed in the state of California. We use a lot of it,” said LADWP spokesperson Stephanie Lozano. “The grid itself is very close to being fully integrated, and we are making progress.”
“The LADWP Grid Hub is the largest energy storage facility in the world. It’s the largest energy storage facility that we have ever done in Southern California, and it has a capacity of up to 875 megawatts (MW).”
“At its peak, at about 12 hours out and 24 hours in, this facility generates enough electricity to power more than 400,000 homes.”
What makes the LADWP Grid Hub so big? It’s the biggest storage facility in the world — and it’s a