Battery developer AES Southland just announced that it will deliver the world’s largest lithium ion battery to Southern California Edison. The massive 400MW battery can provide 100MW of power for a total of four hours, which eclipses the previous record held by the State Grid Corporation of China with a 36MWh battery less than 1/10 the size of the Southern California Edison device.
The new super battery is just one product that AES will provide to SCE. The company will also provide 1284MW of cycle-gas fired generation capability along with other solutions contributing roughly 600MW. The total capacity to be built out is 1,892MW across 63 contracts. The battery will replace older gas plants which are occasionally used to provide peak power generation. These plants are expensive and take a long time to power up. The battery will only provide only 98MW of the 1,891MW total, however it will offset the company’s need for expensive power generation.
“AES is honored to continue more than 25 years of serving SCE and its customers with cost effective, reliable power solutions,” said Jennifer Didlo, President of AES Southland. “SCE is taking a strong leadership step in the industry and we are pleased that AES can be part of ensuring a clean, secure grid.”
“SCE’s selection moves California toward a clean, unbreakable power grid, taking advantage of energy storage for fast, flexible, emissions-free power,” said John Zahurancik, President of AES Energy Storage. “This contract marks the emergence of energy storage as a cost-effective alternative to peaking power plants for local power capacity and reliability.”
The project will not come online until 2021, but all indications show that this will be one of the largest lithium-ion installations in North America – and it could herald a new age of similar projects. However technology moves fast – after all, only two years ago 30-40MW projects were considered state of the art, so new projects will have to up the ante even further.