Executive Briefings

Tesla: Battery Revolution Just Reached Critical Mass

Tesla Motors Inc. is making a huge bet that millions of small batteries can be strung together to help kick fossil fuels off the grid. The idea is a powerful one - one that's been used to help justify the company's $5bn factory near Reno, Nev. - but batteries have so far only appeared in a handful of true, grid-scale pilot projects.

That changes this week. 

Three massive battery storage plants - built by Tesla, AES Corp., and Altagas Ltd. - are all officially going live in southern California at about the same time. Any one of these projects would have been the largest battery storage facility ever built. Combined, they amount to 15 percent of the battery storage installed planetwide last year.

Ribbons will be cut and executives will take their bows. But this is a revolution that’s just getting started, Tesla Chief Technology Officer J.B. Straubel said. “It’s sort of hard to comprehend sometimes the speed all this is going at,” he said. “Our storage is growing as fast as we can humanly scale it.”

A Fossil-Fuel Disaster

The new battery projects were commissioned in response to a fossil-fuel disaster — the natural gas leak at Aliso Canyon, near the Los Angeles neighborhood of Porter Ranch. It released thousands of tons of methane into the air before it was sealed last February.

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That changes this week. 

Three massive battery storage plants - built by Tesla, AES Corp., and Altagas Ltd. - are all officially going live in southern California at about the same time. Any one of these projects would have been the largest battery storage facility ever built. Combined, they amount to 15 percent of the battery storage installed planetwide last year.

Ribbons will be cut and executives will take their bows. But this is a revolution that’s just getting started, Tesla Chief Technology Officer J.B. Straubel said. “It’s sort of hard to comprehend sometimes the speed all this is going at,” he said. “Our storage is growing as fast as we can humanly scale it.”

A Fossil-Fuel Disaster

The new battery projects were commissioned in response to a fossil-fuel disaster — the natural gas leak at Aliso Canyon, near the Los Angeles neighborhood of Porter Ranch. It released thousands of tons of methane into the air before it was sealed last February.

Read Full Article