California Gets Another 100MW Battery Project, as Competition with Gas Peakers Heats Up

Greentech Media

Developer sPower will build a huge battery facility in Los Angeles County for Clean Power Alliance, a community choice aggregator

Big things are happening in California this week. In the political sphere, Gov. Gavin Newsom is invoking the powers of a “nation-state” to provide life-saving medical supplies that the federal government isn’t. In the power sector, another 100 megawatt battery just got contracted to support the grid near Los Angeles.

Clean Power Alliance, a local power purchasing authority or “community choice aggregator” for 1 million customer accounts in the greater L.A. region, signed the deal with independent power producer sPower Thursday. The signing ceremony took place over GoToMeeting video chat, because it’s April 2020.

This marks the first battery deal for Clean Power Alliance. It’s also the first time a CCA, a relatively new structure in the California power scene, enters the rarefied “100 Megawatt Club.” That’s equivalent to the largest battery in the world by megawatt capacity — the Tesla-supplied Hornsdale plant in South Australia — though Clean Power Alliance’s project will have considerably longer duration, at 400 megawatt-hours.

sPower will own and operate the Luna Storage facility. It will build the $100 million project with union labor in Lancaster, at the northern edge of Los Angeles County, a little over an hour drive from downtown L.A. in the rare event that the 101 and the 5 have emptied due to a general cessation of civic life.

Even larger power producer AES acquired sPower , in partnership with the Alberta Investment Management Corporation, for $853 million 2017. sPower operates independently, but the project mirrors an earlier effort by its corporate parent: AES became the first to contract a battery of this size when utility Southern California Edison awarded it the Alamitos contract in 2014.

Also this week, the California Choice Energy Authority, a consortium of five community choice aggregators, signed a deal with developer esVolta to build the 15 megawatt/60 megawatt-hour Black Walnut Energy Storage project in Santa Paula.

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