GOLETA, Calif. - Wildfires and warmer weather take a toll on our electrical grid. However, a new energy system -- an emission-free battery facility -- is being installed in Goleta to help support local infrastructure.
This will be the second and largest battery facility of its kind in the region.
Construction is underway on 44 new emission free batteries, tucked between Storke Road and the Cortona Point Apartments.
These batteries are capable of powering more than 30,000 households when the electrical grid is most stressed.
"The city of Goleta and this entire area is dependent on energy that's transmitted over to 220 kilowatt lines that come up from Ventura," said Peter Imhof, Planning and Environmental Review Director for the City of Goleta. "So, any power storage here offsets the need for that transmission."
Portland, Oregon-based GridStor is owner and operator of the battery facility.
The company's batteries connect directly into the power grid and provide reliable energy to the region.
"The battery site system will interact with the grid real time," said Adam Horvath, GridStor's Site Manager. "So, it's making tweaks and adjustment charging, discharging instantaneously to serve the grid and whatever the need is at that moment."
GridStar says its batteries will serve as an additional tool when disasters threaten the grid or when clean energy from solar or wind is not enough.
"It can be used in a disaster, but it's not for disasters," said Jason Burwen, GridStor's Vice President of Policy & Strategy. "It's for making sure that the power grid remains reliable, particularly in the region, while also enabling the greater use of wind and solar power."
The facility is expected to come online this fall with minimal disruptions to people who live nearby.
"When it comes time to tie the site in and energize it, we're coordinated very closely with Southern California Edison to ensure that it's a smooth switch over," said Horvath.
Goleta's 60 megawatt facility supports the state's transition to clean energy.
The California Energy Commission projects that 49,000 megawatts of battery storage is needed to meet the state's decarbonization goal by 2045.