Under the guise of Gambit Energy Storage LLC, a secretive subsidiary of Tesla, a new, 100-megawatt battery is coming to Angleton, Texas. Angleton is located approximately 40 miles south of Houston and has a population of about 20,000. The project follows a massive winter storm that rendered the Texas power grid useless. The new battery is expected to work as a backup to the grid, as climate change has made it clear that relying on the grid may not be tenable for the future.
The battery is expected to power up to 20,000 homes. When the project is complete, the residents of the town may no longer have to worry about power outages, even in the most extreme weather events. The project is slated to start operating in June 2021.
The Gambit project has drawn a lot of attention nationally, not because of its type but due to the secretive manner in which it is being conducted. The locals say that the workers on the site appear to be under strict instructions not to draw attention or respond to public questions. Reporters had to dig deep to link Gambit to Tesla. Elon Musk’s Telsa has been investing in energy quietly but rapidly.
“Tesla’s energy storage business on a percentage basis is growing faster than their car business, and it’s only going to accelerate,” said Daniel Finn-Foley, head of energy storage at Wood MacKenzie Power and Renewables. “They are absolutely respected as a player, and they are competing aggressively on price.”
In 2015, Tesla introduced its first Powerwall home batteries. Later, it expanded to larger grid offerings with the Megapack. The company has multiple battery projects, including a 100 megawatt project in South Australia, a 20 megawatt Southern California Edison Mira Loma substation just east of Los Angeles and an upcoming 182.5 megawatt system in the San Francisco Bay Area that is expected to begin operations in August 2021. These projects offer clear indications of Telsa’s fight for a space in the green energy market.
Musk himself has been quoted saying that the energy business is bigger than the automotive industry, an indication that the company will focus more on clean energy in the future.
Image via Tesla