January 31, 2017

AA DENSE-PACK: Tesla’s Battery Revolution Just Reached Critical Mass.

Three massive battery storage plants—built by Tesla, AES Corp., and Altagas Ltd.—are all officially going live in southern California at about the same time. Any one of these projects would have been the largest battery storage facility ever built. Combined, they amount to 15 percent of the battery storage installed planet-wide last year.

Ribbons will be cut and executives will take their bows. But this is a revolution that’s just getting started, Tesla Chief Technology Officer J.B. Straubel said in an interview on Friday. “It’s sort of hard to comprehend sometimes the speed all this is going at,” he said. “Our storage is growing as fast as we can humanly scale it.”

The new battery projects were commissioned in response to a fossil-fuel disaster—the natural gas leak at Aliso Canyon, near the Los Angeles neighborhood of Porter Ranch. It released thousands of tons of methane into the air before it was sealed last February.

With all due credit to Elon Musk for his partly taxpayer-funded battery revolution, batteries are merely a means of storing energy. Somebody, somewhere still has to do the sometimes unpleasant business of producing energy — a business California progressives want no realistic part of.

So they’ll take the batteries and the tax credits that come with them, but actual energy producers are “Not our kind, dear.”

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