Los Angeles County gas plant to be partially replaced by batteries and solar

Glendale, California. Source: Ken Lund / Flickr

An aging gas power plant in Glendale, California will soon be repowered by a combination of distributed solar, energy storage, and geothermal energy.

Municipal utility Glendale Water & Power (GWP) received approval to move ahead with the project from Glendale City Council on July 23. Its original proposal, which consisted primarily of thermal generation and battery storage, was rejected last year.

The new proposal involves retrofitting the Grayson Power Plant with a 75MW / 300MWh battery energy storage system and up to 50MW of distributed energy resources, which will include solar photovoltaic systems and energy efficiency and demand response programs. The plant will retain 93MW of thermal generation from up to five combustion turbines to meet peak demand.

The Grayson plant current combustion engines are due to be retired in 2021. The future of the plant has become a source of contention between GWP and environmentalists and locals opposed to the installation of new gas-powered infrastructure.

It is the second time this month that a dirty gas plant in California has been partially replaced with cleaner alternatives, as utilities scramble towards meeting a new state law that requires 100% of electricity generation to come from climate-friendly sources by 2045. In Oakland, a 40-year old jet-fuel power plant is set to be replaced by solar-plus-battery systems, in that instance through networking devices in customer households.

Grayson Power Plant has been in operation at the site since the first half of the 20th Century.

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