The facility will provide back-up power for Southern California.

Tesla will build the largest lithium ion battery electricity storage facility in the world as part of a project to shore up Southern California’s grid.

The facility is a massive Tesla Powerpack, essentially a series of the batteries Tesla uses in its cars linked together. Located at Southern California Edison’s Mira Loma substation, the Powerpack will provide 20 megawatts/80 megawatt-hours of electricity.

The project is a response to the on-going energy crisis in the Los Angeles area, caused by the massive methane leak at Aliso Canyon that occurred last year. The site has since been closed down, having been deemed unfit to store natural gas safely and environmentally.

However, the loss of that energy source means swathes of LA could face rolling blackouts as demand increases in the winter months. Southern California Edison and other utilities, directed by Governor Jeff Brown, solicited large-scale energy storage solutions. Tesla submitted the only successful bid.

Tesla claims the facility will have been commissioned, manufactured, and installed in just three months, by the deadline of December 31, 2016. The battery cells will be produced at Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada, which was specifically set up to deal with the scale of such projects.

According to Tesla, the Mira Loma Powerpack will be able to provide power to 2500 homes, or fully charge 1000 Tesla cars. It will recharge during off-peak hours, ready to feed electricity to the grid when demand increases. Southern California Edison provides power for some 15 million residents.

Tesla said: “In order to achieve a sustainable energy future, the world needs a two-way, flexible electric grid. The electric power industry is the last great industry which has not seen the revolutionary effects of storage. Working in close collaboration with Southern California Edison, the Tesla Powerpack system will be a landmark project that truly heralds the new age of storage on the electric grid.”

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