After breaking a few energy storage records with its battery system projects in Australia, Tesla looks to come back to the US to build a new world’s largest Powerpack battery system in Colorado.
Earlier this year, we reported on Xcel Energy, an electric utility company operating across the Midwest, Colorado and several other states, requesting bids for major renewable energy and storage projects in Colorado.
Some of the bids for standalone battery systems as well as batteries with solar and wind installations were among the best seen to date.
Now, Xcel has confirmed the companies placing the bids on the projects, including Tesla and NextEra Energy for standalone battery projects.
Tesla refused to comment on the project since it’s just in the proposal phase at this point, but Xcel’s documents show that it would become the biggest Powerpack project in the world if the electric utility decides to greenlight the proposal.
In South Australia, Tesla’s 100MW/ 129MWh Powerpack project is known as “the most powerful battery system in the world” and while this proposal in Colorado would not be as powerful with a power capacity of 75 MW, it would be able to run for 4 hours, which would require a much bigger energy capacity of 300 MWh.
It would be a major energy storage project that would represent twice the energy capacity that Tesla deployed during the entire last quarter. It would consist of as many as 1,500 Powerpack 2 battery systems.
Tesla calls the project ‘Forrest Lake’, which likely means that it is located in Forrest Lake, Colorado – just west of Colorado Springs and about 100 miles outside of Denver.
The majority of the electricity produced in Colorado currently comes from coal and natural gas, but they are increasingly adding renewable energy sources and energy storage could facilitate the use of the latter and make the overall grid more efficient and stable.
After a few months in operation, Tesla’s battery system in South Australia is already proving quite useful both for the overall grid and the battery operator.
As we previously reported, the giant battery system made around $1 million in just a few days back in January and it is already eating away at ‘gas cartel’s’ profits, according to a recent report.
The energy market in Colorado is nowhere near as bad as it is currently in South Australia. Therefore, we can’t expect an impact as great, but an energy storage capacity of this magnitude could certainly help the grid make better use of its current power capacity and rely less on costly and polluting peaker plants.
There are many other bids in Xcel’s solicitation reports and it could go many different ways, but the projects are all quite big. We will keep track of this initiative and report back.