Storage will replace 3 California gas plants as PG&E nabs approval for world’s largest batteries

The California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday approved four energy storage projects for Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to replace retiring gas generators, including two batteries that would be the largest in the world.

The CPUC granted approval for a total of 567.5 MW / 2,270 MWh of storage, including a 300 MW / 1,200 MWh project from Vistra Energy and a 182.5 MW / 730 MWh project from Tesla that the utility would own. Those batteries, once completed, would be the two largest in service.

The CPUC directed PG&E to purchase the storage in January instead of approving new ratepayer-funded contracts for three gas plants in PG&E’s service area. Analysts told Utility Dive the cost of the batteries is likely cheaper than continuing to operate the plants.

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