A severe onset of winter this January meant that even otherwise sunny states in the USA suddenly made acquaintance with snow and ice. In Texas, for example, where Tesla is currently building another Gigafactory, the power went out repeatedly for days. The Tesla construction site was also affected, and CEO Elon Musk complained that the commission responsible for reliable power supplies in Texas was not doing its job. At the same time, he seems to want to ensure that similar failures in Texas no longer occur anytime soon.
Tesla battery with more than 100 megawatts
Apparently, Tesla is in the process of installing a large battery in a small town in Texas that can quickly pick up and release electricity when needed. The company is building a secret mega-battery in Angleton, about 250 kilometers as the crow flies from the Gigafactory near Austin, to support the power grid in Texas, reported the news agency Bloomberg on Monday. That emerges from the documents for the project. In addition, a worker with a Tesla helmet was seen on the construction site.
The exact output of the new Tesla battery is not mentioned in the report, but is said to be more than 100 megawatts. This would make it one of the world’s largest storage systems of this type, which are gradually growing into the gigawatt range. When Tesla built its first large battery in Australia in 2017, it was the largest in the world with a capacity of 100 megawatts. It was created with the smaller units known as power packs, but Tesla now offers megapack modules, each of which has an output of 1.5 megawatts and a capacity of up to 3 megawatt hours.
According to the Bloomberg report, megapacks are also used in Angleton. This could be seen during a visit on site, although the construction site was shielded with tarpaulins. A photographer was told that the work was a secret project.
Renewable power and storage for Texas
However, some documentation can be found on the City of Angleton website. As early as October 2019, the Gambit storage park project was proposed to her, controlled by the developer Plus Power from California and financed by the formerly state-owned Italian utility Enel. At that time, Tesla mega-packs were shown on sample images for the storage systems to be used. As Plus Power confirmed to Bloomberg, the project has now been sold. The name of the buyer was not mentioned, but according to the agency the new operator is called Gambit Energy Storage – and is a Tesla subsidiary based in Fremont.
Tesla didn’t respond to Bloomberg inquiries about the project, but a representative from the Texas Electricity Commission said the Gambit battery should start operating in early June. According to the report, the connection of 2,100 megawatts of battery power and 37,000 megawatts of new solar and wind power plants to the power grid is planned in the state.