The Top 5: Largest Battery Energy Storage Systems Worldwide

Highlights :

  • Largest Battery Energy Storage Systems are Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility, Manatee Energy Storage Center Project, Victorian Big Battery, McCoy Solar Energy Project BESS, and Elkhorn Battery
The Top 5: Largest Battery Energy Storage Systems Worldwide

As we talk about renewable energy replacing fossil fuels, the bottlenecks hindering the progress of renewable energy must be taken care of as well. One of these bottlenecks is the variable nature of renewable energy. Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS), also known as Big Batteries, provide electricity grids with a wide range of benefits – recourse in times of imbalance in the supply or demand of electricity, managing frequency and stabilizing the grid, etc. Thus, more and more players are investing in BESS while striving to reach their net zero targets and other climate-friendly goals. Some of the largest Battery Energy Storage Systems worldwide can even power thousands of homes for hours or even days.

As per one report, the global battery energy storage market size was $9.21 billion in 2021. It will continue to grow with over 16.3 per cent CAGR from $10.88 billion in 2022 to $31.20 billion by 2029. The pandemic only improved the market statistics for BESS as the industry experienced a whopping 33.6 per cent growth in 2020, compared to 2019 levels.

We look at the five Largest Battery Energy Storage Systems planned or commissioned worldwide.

#1 Vistra Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility

Location: California, US

Developer:  Vistra Energy Corporation

Capacity: 400MW/1,600MWh

The 400MW/1,600MWh Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility is the world’s biggest battery energy storage system (BESS) project so far. The massive energy facility was built at the retired Moss Landing Power Plant site in California, US.

Vistra Energy developed the project in two phases. The 300MW/1,200MWh phase 1 of the Moss Landing battery energy storage system (BESS) was connected to California’s power grid in phase 1. Further, phase 2 for a 100MW/400MWh expansion set off a few months later and was commissioned to work in July 2021.

The owner of the said BESS, Vistra Energy, called a temporary halt to its operation and market participation after battery overheating incidents in the first week of September 2021. Recently, in July 2022, it is back online again. In January 2022, Vistra announced plans to commission the third phase to further expand the largest of the Battery Energy Storage Systems on the planet. The company has entered into a 15-year resource adequacy agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) for a new 350-megawatt/1,400-megawatt-hour battery system. With the new addition, Moss Landing may retain its top position for years to come.

#2 Manatee Energy Storage Center Project

Location: Florida, US

Developer:  Florida Power & Light (FPL)

Capacity: 409MW/900MWh

Claiming it to be the world’s largest solar-powered battery, FPL developed the Manatee Energy Storage Center Project with a capacity of 409 MW and the ability to supply 900 MWh of energy. In simple terms, the capacity of the battery is enough to power about 329,000 households for more than two hours. The battery system stores excess solar energy generated by the Manatee Solar Energy Center’s solar array during the daytime to fulfil the demands when the sun is not around.

The Manatee Energy Storage Center is a massive battery. It is made up of 132 energy storage containers spread across a 40-acre parcel of land. It is about the size of 30 football fields! A fleet of over 340,000 solar panels spread across 751-acre property powers the system.

FPL’s investments in battery storage technologies complement the company’s solar energy development. The firm aims for eight more solar energy centres by early 2023, in addition to this solar-powered battery storage plant. FPL anticipates that by the end of the decade, approximately 40% of the company’s electricity will be provided by zero-emissions energy sources, a more than 65 per cent increase from 2020.

#3 Victorian Big Battery

Location: Near Geelong, Australia

Developer: Neoen

Capacity: 300MW/450MWh

Australia’s largest lithium-ion battery facility is also one of the largest Battery Energy Storage Systems in the world. The 300 Megawatt (MW) battery facility is owned as well as operated by Neoen, France-based independent power producer. It is located at the Moorabool Terminal Station, approximately 13 km northwest of Geelong. The mammoth battery stores enough energy to power more than one million Victorian homes in Australia for 30 minutes.

With climate change resulting in hotter summers, the peak demand for electricity is rising. At the same time, Victoria’s ageing coal-fired generators are becoming increasingly unreliable, resulting in a need for additional capacity to ensure the state’s power supply. The ‘Victorian Big Battery’ operates as a virtual transmission line between November and March each year, enabling increased flows of up to 250 MW over the Victoria-New South Wales interconnector. Apart from reducing the risk of load-shedding over the peak summer months; the battery also participates in energy markets throughout the year. It has a 50 MW available for this purpose during the summer and the full 300 MW at other times.

#4 McCoy Solar Energy Project BESS

Location: California, US

Developer:  NextEra Energy Resources

Capacity: 230 MW/920 MWh

In another American establishment, the battery storage is storing for a 250 MW solar project. The 2016 McCoy Solar Energy Project is a 250-megawatt (MWAC) photovoltaic power plant near the city of Blythe in Riverside County, California. It occupies about 2,300 acres of mostly public land in the Mojave Desert. With a 230 MW /920 MWh battery capacity, it is one of the largest Battery Energy Storage Systems on the planet.

The project is a part of 770 MW of battery energy storage project proposals by Southern California Edison (SCE). The project will help solve reliability issues anticipated to impact the California grid when ageing natural gas power plants reach their retirement.

NextEra Energy Resources LLC (NEER), a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Capital Holdings Inc, is a diversified clean energy company and is one of the largest wholesale generators of electric power in the US.

#5 Elkhorn Battery

Location: California, US

Developer:  Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)

Capacity: 182.5 MW/730 MWh

The Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) recently commissioned its new Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) – the Elkhorn Battery. It is located at the firm’s Moss Landing electric substation in Monterey County, California. The Elkhorn Battery consists of a total of 256 Tesla Megapacks (roughly 3 MWh each) with a total energy capacity of 730 MWh. It has a gigantic power output of 182.5 MW, the ability to feed energy for up to four hours during periods of high demand.

PG&E anticipates that an additional 1,400+ MW of storage capacity will come online in 2022 and 2023.

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Junaid Shah

Junaid holds a Master of Engineering degree in Construction & Management. Being a civil engineering postgraduate and using his technical prowess, he has channeled his passion for writing in the environmental niche.