Energy Vault to build largest Green Hydrogen LDES for PG&E in US
Energy Vault and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) have recently announced their partnership to deploy and operate a utility-scale battery-cum-green hydrogen long-duration energy storage system (BH-ESS) with a minimum of 293 MWh of dispatchable carbon-free energy.
The BH-ESS is designed to power downtown and the surrounding area of the Northern California City of Calistoga in the US for a minimum of 48 hours during planned outages and potential Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS), which is when the powerlines serving the surrounding area must be turned off for safety due to high wildfire risk.
The energy storage system will be owned, operated and maintained by Energy Vault while providing dispatchable power under a long-term tolling agreement with PG&E. The system's capacity may be expanded to 700 MWh, which would allow it to operate for longer without refueling, enabling further flexibility for PG&E and the City of Calistoga, according to the companies.
Energy Vault's BH-ESS will replace the mobile diesel generators used to energize PG&E's Calistoga microgrid during broader grid outages. The project represents a major advance in community-scale microgrid development, and a significant step toward realizing the CPUC's vision of cleaner forms of microgrid generation.
"PG&E selected Energy Vault's innovative hybrid architecture and design to create a cost-effective, community-scale, fully carbon-free microgrid that can store and dispatch on-demand renewable energy," said Ron Richardson, Regional Vice President, North Bay and North Coast, PG&E.
"This breakthrough collaboration between PG&E and Energy Vault provides a template for future, renewable community-scale microgrids that successfully integrate third-party distributed energy resources, which is expected to cost customers less than the benchmark set by state regulators based on the alternative use of mobile diesel generators", he added.
The system is anticipated to provide carbon-free energy for the Calistoga community of more than 2,000 electric customers for a period of 48 hours with a hybrid architecture that will allow for grid forming and black start capabilities, with the potential to further expand the project's capacity in the future up to 700MWh.
"We're excited to partner with PG&E on this groundbreaking project that reflects Energy Vault's differentiated ability to design, build and operate innovative and utility-scale energy storage solutions that meet our customers' specific needs in achieving their grid reliability and decarbonization goals," said Robert Piconi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Energy Vault.
"We are setting a new benchmark for what can be achieved with an innovative design that integrates the most advanced energy storage mediums in order to deliver a fully renewable green hydrogen battery energy storage system. Our engineers designed this innovative hybrid energy storage system leveraging Energy Vault's technology-neutral integration platform and energy management software", Piconi added.
Energy Vault CEO further said that the project represents another key customer validation of his company's strategy and industry-leading ability to bring the most innovative short, long and ultra-long duration energy storage technologies with proprietary gravity, green hydrogen and hybrid battery solutions.
Construction is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2023 with commercial operation expected by the end of second quarter of 2024. Upon completion, this project is expected to be the first-of-its-kind and the largest utility-scale green hydrogen project in the United States.