clean energy

Tesla, PG&E to Build Massive Clean Energy Facility in Monterey County

County planners approve the joint project that officials say would be the largest battery facility in the world

Tesla and PG&E logos.
Getty Images photos

Officials in Monterey County on Wednesday gave the green light on a massive clean-energy battery farm project in Moss Landing spearheaded by Tesla and PG&E that officials say would be the largest of its kind in the world, according to a report from KSBW-TV.

The Monterey County Planning Commission unanimously approved the joint project in which the two Bay Area-based companies would build a wind and solar power storage facility at the little used power plant that could be tapped for use around Monterey County and parts of Silicon Valley during periods of high energy demand, the TV station reported.

The project will use hundreds of lithium batteries to store the clean-renewable energy and then use existing power lines to transmit energy. Combined with a similar project by Vistra Energy approved months ago, it would create what officials believe to be the largest battery facility in the world, KSBW reported.

For the utility-size battery plant, Tesla will use its newly created Megapack, an alternative to natural gas "peaker" power plants, the Palo Alto-based company wrote in a blog post.

Peaker power plants cost millions of dollars a day to operate and are some of the least efficient plants on the grid, the company said. A Megapack can use stored energy to support the grid’s peak loads, Tesla said.

The California Union for Reliable Energy initially planned legal objections to the Tesla-PG&E collaboration over its potential environmental impacts, but it recently withdrew its legal action after reaching an undisclosed settlement with San Francisco-based PG&E, according to KSBW.

Groundbreaking on the Tesla-PG&E project is tentatively slated for next month, and completion is scheduled for the end of the year.

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