By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~
California has hooked up a grid battery system that is almost ten times bigger than the previous world record holder, but when it comes to making renewables reliable it is so small it might as well not exist.
The new battery array is rated at a storage capacity of 1,200 megawatt hours (MWh); easily eclipsing the record holding 129 MWh Australian system built by Tesla a few years ago. However, California peaks at a whopping 42,000 MW. If that happened on a hot, low wind night this supposedly big battery would keep the lights on for just 1.7 minutes (that’s 103 seconds). This is truly a trivial amount of storage.
Mind you this system is being built to serve just Pacific Gas & Electric. But they by coincidence peak at about half of California, or 21,000 MWh, so they get a magnificent 206 seconds of…
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