IN-DEPTH: Texas growing home to mega-battery projects, including Travis County

Texas

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A new report out Monday by Bloomberg shows that Tesla has secretly been working on a massive battery storage project just south of Houston. For many, this might be the first time reading about these giant lithium-ion battery projects, but they are becoming more prevalent across Texas, including here in Travis County.

Numerous energy companies have started similar mega-battery projects in recent years to store wind and solar energy.

Last August, Astral Electricity started construction on a 100 megawatt battery energy storage plant near Fort Worth called the Chisholm Grid, which at the time was touted as the largest battery energy storage system in Texas. It is scheduled to be complete by June, putting it on track with Tesla’s potential timeline.

Both batteries will provide power to ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

Travis County getting its own 100 MW super battery

Key Capture Energy also announced plans last August to build three battery systems in Texas totaling 200 megawatts of energy storage. The largest will be built in Travis County:

  • 100 megawatt plant in Travis County
  • 50 megawatt plant in Robertson County
  • 50 megawatt plant in Brazoria County

This is a huge jump in battery storage for Key Capture Energy, which currently only has approximately 30 megawatts of operating projects split between three 9.9 megawatt plants.

Key Capture Energy says it’s “building large-scale energy storage projects today that will transition us to the [power] grid of tomorrow.”

300 MW behemoth plant in California could signal what’s on horizon

Even the giant batteries that Tesla, Astral Electricity and Key Capture Energy are building can’t compare to one that’s now complete and operational in California.

Vistra Energy has a two-year-old 10 megawatt facility just south of Midland in Texas, but its brand new California plant is 300 megawatts. By this August, the plant will grow to 400 megawatts.

That’s likely a harbinger of what’s to come for Texas. The Lone Star State has trailed only California in massive battery storage projects.

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