Energy Storage

Vistra Adding More Storage to Moss Landing, World's Largest BESS

The Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility in California, already the largest utility-scale battery storage development in the world, is adding more capacity. Vistra, the Texas-based energy company that lists Luminant, TXU Energy, and Dynegy among its subsidiaries, on Jan. 24 said it would further expand Moss Landing, adding a new 350-MW/1,400-MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) at the site.

The additional storage will complement the existing 400-MW/1,600-MWh of storage already at Moss Landing. Vistra on Monday said it has entered into a 15-year resource adequacy agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) for the new capacity. Vistra in a Jan. 21 filing asked the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to approve the contract.

“Through this partnership with PG&E, Vistra is bringing its capabilities and expertise to lead the clean energy transition and provide much-needed electricity to the people of California,” said Curt Morgan, Vistra CEO. “These innovative battery energy storage systems are necessary to maintain electric grid reliability as increasing levels of intermittent renewable power are integrated into the electric grid.”

Third Phase of Project

The new capacity will be Phase III of the Moss Landing storage installation, bringing total storage at the site to 750 MW/3,000 MWh. Phase I, brought online in December 2020, is a 300-MW/1,200-MWh BESS; Phase II, which began operating in August 2021, is a 100-MW/400 MWh BESS.

Vistra on Monday said it expects to move quickly with the additional capacity thanks “to the utilization of an already-approved development permit and its location on a Vistra-owned power plant site with existing interconnection and infrastructure.” The company on Monday said that pending the receipt of CPUC approval, it anticipates construction on the third phase at Moss Landing will begin in May of this year, with commercial operation expected to begin prior to summer 2023.

“With this planned expansion, we are moving the Moss Landing site closer to its full potential. With additional phases, this project could eventually reach 1,500 MW—enough to power approximately 1.125 million homes across the state of California with emission-free electricity,” said Morgan. “Vistra is committed, through our Vistra Zero portfolio, to transitioning the company to address climate change—and our Moss Landing site is a shining example of the pivot of our generation fleet toward carbon-free technologies.”

Vistra Zero Portfolio

Vistra has said it plans to grow its zero-carbon Vistra Zero portfolio to 7,300 MW by 2026. That total includes 5,000 MW of renewables and energy storage, along with the company’s 2,300-MW Comanche Peak nuclear power plant in Glen Rose, Texas. Vistra currently has six solar power installations and 11 other energy storage and solar-plus-storage projects in various stages of development and operation in Texas and Illinois, in addition to its California holdings.

The company on Monday said it expects to bring the 260-MW DeCordova Energy Storage Facility, the 108-MW Emerald Grove Solar Facility, and 50-MW Brightside Solar Facility—all in Texas—online in the next few months.

Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).

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