The Energy Storage Report 2024

Now available to download, covering deployments, technology, policy and finance in the energy storage market

Calpine to bring majority of 680MW California BESS online this summer


Gas and geothermal plant operator Calpine Corporation will bring 510MW of its 680MW capacity battery energy storage system (BESS) project in California online in summer 2024, with BYD battery units.

The 510MW phase one of the Nova Power Bank will be complete this summer, with another 110MW coming online in autumn and the final 60MW in 2025, Calpine said this week.

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It is the first time Calpine has officially announced the Nova project, with reporting on it using various sources in January this year (Premium access), when White & Case announced a US$1 billion-plus financing round for it.

The 43-acre project is on the former site of Calpine’s Inland Empire legacy power plant, which it decommissioned in late 2022.

It didn’t reveal the capacity of the project but said that it could power 680,000 homes for four hours, implying it has a 4-hour duration, as the vast majority of California projects do. That would make it 2,720MWh, slightly smaller than the two largest operational BESS projects in the world, Moss Landing (3,000MWh) and Edwards & Sanborn (3,272MWh), both also in California.

It said that utilities Southern California Edison (SCE), Peninsula Clean Energy, and San Diego Gas & Electric will use the electricity from the project, presumably through Resource Adequacy, grid operator CAISO’s means of ensuring there is enough power to supply demand with a reserve margin.

Based on previous documents from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), SCE will specifically contract for the 110MW coming online in fall.

Calpine Corporation operates natural gas and geothermal resources across the US with 78 plants. It already has a 80MW BESS in operation in California, called Santa Ana, and two under construction in addition to Nova: the 25MW West Ford Flat BESS and the 13MW Bear Canyon BESS. The company claims to have 2,000MW of BESS in development in total.

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At the time of writing, Europe had had its most successful year in terms of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with a record 7.8GW of renewable energy contracts signed. As we gather in May 2024 for the third edition of the Renewable Energy Revenues Summit, the energy landscape continues to evolve rapidly, influenced by the beating drum of climate change, volatility around power prices and the need to decarbonise power procurement as well as generation.
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