texas-sized energy project
Tesla Inc. has taken the wraps off a backup-power storage project in Angleton designed to ease the impact of incidents like February 2021’s near-collapse of the Texas power grid.
The project’s 81 Tesla Megapacks are aimed at providing backup power while reducing reliance on fossil fuels. Tesla says its Megapack batteries store clean energy that can be used anytime.
The Bloomberg news service reported last March that the more than 100-megawatt Angleton project could power about 20,000 homes on a hot summer day. Austin-based Tesla unveiled the 2.5-acre project in a YouTube video posted January 6.
A presentation made to the Angleton City Council by Plus Power LLC indicates the Megapack project is supposed to be part of a larger energy-storage “park.” The park could generate about $1 million in property tax revenue over a 10-year span, the presentation says.
San Francisco-based Plus Power, which has an office in Spring, develops battery-equipped systems for energy storage.
The Megapack project, built by Tesla subsidiary Gambit Energy Storage LLC, is registered with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), according to Bloomberg. The quasi-governmental agency operates about 95 percent of the Texas power grid. ERCOT came under intense criticism after last February’s massive winter storm left millions of Texans without power for several days.
Tesla’s new energy-storage system is adjacent to a Texas-New Mexico Power Co. substation, Bloomberg says.
“Tesla’s energy-storage business on a percentage basis is growing faster than their car business, and it’s only going to accelerate,” Daniel Finn-Foley, head of energy storage at Wood MacKenzie Power and Renewables, told Bloomberg. “They are absolutely respected as a player, and they are competing aggressively on price.”
In November, the Texas Public Utilities Commission approved an application from Tesla subsidiary Tesla Energy Ventures LLC to be a retail provider of electricity in Texas. The power will be sold to residential and business customers throughout the ERCOT grid.