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VRFB projects announced to bring 154MWh of long duration storage to California

Tue, 12/07/2021 - 09:42 -- Paul Crompton

Three projects using vanadium redox flow batteries have been announced in California, US by Energy agency Central Coast Community Energy, which was established by communities in the area to source renewable power.

The projects will bring a combined 32MW/154MWh of storage to the area when they become operational in 2026, subject to relevant approval.

The projects are: Bodega Energy Storage project in Gonzales (10MW/8MWh); Green Valley Energy Storage Project  in Salinas (16MW/128MWh); Rava Mesa in Unincorporated Monterey County (6MW/18MWh).

These will be standalone energy storage facilities, except the Bodega Energy Storage project, which will be located adjacent to a microgrid Concentric Power is developing in partnership with the city of Gonzales.

All three projects will be developed by Concentric Power.

The projects are in response to Central Coast Community Energy (CCCE) Local Energy Storage Resiliency Project Request for Proposals issued in June. 

Two additional storage projects are still under consideration in San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties, one of which includes solar generation. 

CCCE received a total of 21 proposals from 16 developers in the proposal response.  

CCCE told BEST: “VRFB may not have been the main driver for these projects but it was an important one, along with the project being local, helping to meet CPUC mandate, and cost-competitiveness.”

A fourth project in Santa Maria will provide 10MW/40MWh of storage using lithium-ion technology.

The Industrial Parkway Storage Project will be developed by Renewable Properties.

California’s long-duration storage goals

California’s energy regulators are calling for more long duration storage as the state prepares for conventional power plants to be replaced by renewable sources. 

In a report last December, Strategen found the US-state would need 45-55GW of long duration storage by 2045— and will need 2-11GW of long duration storage by 2030.

This will allow the retirement of 10GW of fossil fuel generated power, and increase renewable penetration on the grid by 17% by 2045, the report found.

The 'Long Duration Energy Storage for California’s Clean, Reliable Grid' report was developed for the California Energy Storage Alliance

A report by the California Public Utilities Commission stated 11.5GW of net qualifying capacity needed to come on line by 2023-2026 to meet the state’s greenhouse emission reduction goals.

Of the required capacity, 2GW must be from resources with long development lead times, and at least 1GW must be obtained from long duration storage resources (eight hours or greater), and at least 1GW from clean firm resources such as geothermal. 

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