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Gridstor starts commercial operations at 60MW/160MWh California battery storage facility

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The Goleta facility is the second storage project in Santa Barbara County. Image: Gridstor via Business Wire

US battery developer Gridstor has started commercial operations at its 60MW/160MWh Goleta battery storage facility in the US state of California.

The project is the largest battery storage facility in Santa Barbara County, alongside a 700kW system built by Tesla, and consists of 44 containerised battery blocks, also supplied by Tesla. Gridstor has signed a resource adequacy contract with utility Southern California Edison to provide 40MW of resource adequacy at 4-hour duration in response to market signals from the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), but has been built with larger 60MW inverters to allow the facility to meet greater electricity demand in times of need.

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Gridstor notes that the system has the capacity to supply electricity to Goleta’s residential population every day “though the hours of greatest demand on the electric system”.

“California has an urgent need for grid reliability as it decarbonises its economy, and battery storage is the critical resource that meets both challenges,” said Chris Taylor, CEO of Gridstor. “We could not be prouder to work with the city of Goleta and other stakeholders to bring this facility to life and support California’s goals for clean, reliable energy.”

The Tesla Megapack BESS units used were built at the tech, energy and electric vehicle (EV) company’s dedicated production site in Lathrop, California. The US looks to encourage more domestic development of energy infrastructure through legislation such as the Inflation Reduction Act. Investor Nord/LB also provided US$55 billion of project debt financing to complete the development of the project.

Gridstor and started construction on the project in June, following its acquisition of a 2GWh portfolio of under-development battery storage projects in Los Angeles, with the company looking to expand its footprint quickly.

While Gridstor was only founded last year, it has already received the support of Horizon Energy Storage, a fund managed by Goldman Sachs, due in part to the experience of Taylor. He was the founder and chief development officer of wind and solar company Element Power, and worked as the director of development at EDP Renewables North America, and his expertise has helped quickly establish Gridstor as a significant player in the California battery sector.

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