Huge battery storage facility opens in Goleta

December 12, 2023


The City of Goleta announced last week that the Goleta Energy Storage battery facility, which is now the largest power source in Santa Barbara County, has been turned on.

With blocks the size of shipping containers, the 44 Tesla Megapacks can store up to 160 megawatt-hours of power produced primarily from wind and solar energy. When full, the batteries will power the equivalent of 30,000 households for at least four hours.

“Goleta became a more resilient city today, with the dedication of GridStor’s storage batteries to our grid,” said Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte. “We are committed to our renewable energy goals, and this facility brings us that much closer to a day where we will rely predominately on wind and solar and have less need for the traditional gas-powered plant that has historically served us locally.”

While Goleta has embraced lithium battery storage, a group of residents in Morro Bay are fighting plans by Vistra Corp. to build the world’s largest lithium battery storage facility. Opponents have voiced concerns with fire dangers related to lithium batteries.

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This is not a “Power source” is simply stores energy and How much did it cost the taxpayers to get 4 hours of power? and what happens to these “batteries” when they need to be replaced?

No one is claiming this is a “power source”. Looking up “duck curve” will help you understand why energy storage systems like this are important. Everything we make will have to be refurbished or replaced one day. Batteries are no different, and there is a defined safe process to do this, just like the small AA batteries in your home that you hopefully return to designated facilities and not throw in the trash.

Digging out cobalt from Congo slave mines; nickel from a former gulag in Russia (Norilsk); copper from Chile; and lithium are the trade offs. Everything seems to have trade offs, except conservation.

Tesla has shifted to cobalt-free lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries for Megapack and half of its cars. Nickel isn’t coming from Russia. Tesla has disclosed 9 different mines from which it directly sources metals. You could look that up….or just go with wherever you’ve been getting info;)

Unfortunately benefits, advancement and innovations do not grow. Usually it is the infrastructure and manpower that supports the mediocre project that does the growing!

Can someone print out the cost of this plant compared to what you get from it as 30,000 homes powered for 4 hrs doesn’t seem to great for the initial cost ?

The value of this energy storage is greater than just the 4 hours it can provide to 30,000 homes. It is about grid stability because it acts as a “peaker plant” which provides nearly instant energy to the grid at times of greatest need. Without the wind & solar being added in this area, they are a good distance from other sources of generation, which leaves them vulnerable to outages.

A very large experiment.

Yep, all great innovations that have led tremendous societal advances started as experiments that grew in size. Nothing wrong with that!

Another, larger experiment: Pump ever increasing amounts of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere and see what happens. Global CO2 is currently at 420 parts per million in the air you breath. Google up a graph that shows the change in CO2 ppm from ice cores through hundreds of thousands of years. Before the present era, we’ve never been over 300 ppm.