Wärtsilä Completes 125MW LeConte Energy Storage Project in California

Hybrid energy with sophisticated software GEMS

(Credit: WÄRTSILÄ)

by | Feb 21, 2023

Hybrid energy with sophisticated software GEMS LeConte

(Credit: WÄRTSILÄ)

Wärtsilä, a leading technology group, has achieved a major milestone by completing a 125-megawatt (MW)/250-megawatt hour (MWh) energy storage system in Calexico, California, USA. The energy storage facility is called the LeConte energy storage project and is Wärtsilä’s second-largest Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) project to date.

The energy storage system was built for REV Renewables, a company that specializes in the development, ownership, and operations of energy storage and renewable generation assets. The LeConte system was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission in early 2022 as part of a plan to build 15,000 MW of new energy storage and demand response resources by 2032.

“Battery energy storage is a key component to maintaining reliability and stability of California’s electricity grid,” said Cody Hill, REV Renewables Senior Vice President, Battery Systems. “Wärtsilä worked with us to manage supply chain challenges, to collaborate with local communities, and to perform site safety and training to bring this complex energy storage project online.”

The LeConte energy storage project is a significant step towards stabilizing and decarbonizing the electric grid in California. During the record-setting heat wave in September 2022, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) confirmed in their Summer Performance Report that 2,000 MW of energy storage was dispatched to support the grid on September 5th during the most grid-challenged period of the heat wave. This helped California avoid widespread power outages.

Located near the California/Mexico border, the LeConte facility is situated at a major junction point for energy producers in the CAISO and San Diego Gas & Electric territories that are importing and exporting energy between the U.S. and Mexico. The energy storage system will be used to follow the automatic generation control signal to maintain system frequency and perform peak day operations to relieve congestion on transmission lines from the abundance of solar photovoltaic resources in the area.

The project includes Wärtsilä’s GridSolv Quantum, a fully integrated, modular, and compact energy storage system, as well as the GEMS Digital Energy Platform, Wärtsilä’s sophisticated energy management system. Wärtsilä’s GEMS Digital Energy Platform provides a critical safety feature by continuously monitoring to pinpoint and isolate any system malfunctions automatically.

“We’re pleased to be partnering with REV Renewables on our second largest EPC project, which will be instrumental for the state’s decarbonization goals. Adding flexible generation such as energy storage to Southern California is significant as the area is important for stabilizing the supply of electricity on transmission lines between Mexico and California,” said Andrew Tang, Vice President of Energy Storage & Optimisation, Wärtsilä. “This facility will support the continued integration of renewable energy assets on California’s electric grid.”

The completion of the LeConte energy storage project is a significant achievement for Wärtsilä and REV Renewables. and demonstrates the importance of battery energy storage in maintaining reliability and stability of California’s electricity grid. The facility will also support the continued integration of renewable energy assets on California’s electric grid, a key component of the state’s decarbonization goals.

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