Energy Vault Kicks Off Construction of Largest U.S. Green Hydrogen Storage System

Rendering of the Calistoga Resiliency Center - the system will provide 48 hours of continuous power to the City of Calistoga.

(Credit: Energy Vault)

by | Feb 26, 2024

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Energy Vault, a company that develops and deploys utility-scale energy storage solutions, has started construction on what it said will be the largest green hydrogen long-duration storage system in the United States.

The previously announced utility-scale green hydrogen plus battery ultra-long duration energy storage system (BH-ESS) will have a capacity of 293 megawatt-hours of dispatchable carbon-free energy. The system is being developed for Pacific Gas and Electric Company on less than one acre of land in Calistoga, California, and is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2024. PG&E received approval for the system by the California Public Utilities Commission in April 2023.

The BH-ESS, also known as the Calistoga Resiliency Center, is the first-of-its-kind and the largest utility-scale green hydrogen energy storage project in the United States, accordion got Energy Vault.

Its battery portion will support grid forming and black start capabilities, and the system will power downtown Calistoga and the surrounding area for up to 48 hours during potential Public Safety Power Shutoffs. The shut-offs occur during high wildfire risk when power lines are turned off.

Storage System will Replace Diesel Generators

The BH-ESS will replace mobile diesel generators currently used to energize PG&E’s Calistoga microgrid during PSPS events in the area.

“The timely start of construction is an important milestone in our partnership with PG&E to deliver this first-of-its-kind microgrid solution. We greatly look forward to not only its delivery but most importantly to the sustainability benefits it will bring to the Calistoga community,” Marco Terruzzin, chief commercial and product officer, Energy Vault, said in a statement. “Our partnership with California’s largest public utility is yet another example of the growing recognition that optimizing grid resiliency and economics toward achieving decarbonization goals requires innovation that leverages multiple technologies and a ‘fit-for-purpose’ customer-centric approach when designing energy storage solutions.”

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Energy Vault will own, operate, and maintain the energy storage system, and use its VaultOS energy management system to control, manage and optimize the operations. The system falls under the umbrella of Energy Vault’s H-VAULT suite of hybrid configurations, which couples fuel cells using green hydrogen and lithium-ion batteries to provide clean, reliable, cost-effective backup power 

The two companies have a 10-and-a-half-year agreement, with Energy Vault providing “Distributed Generation-Enabled Microgrid Services,” which is a type of energy service that uses grid-forming generation and storage resources.

“Deploying cost-effective, next-generation energy supply and long-term storage technologies is essential to ensuring grid reliability and to achieving PG&E’s goal of a net zero energy system by 2040,” said Mike Delaney, vice president, utility partnerships and innovation. “PG&E is developing a portfolio of promising new forms of electricity generation and storage technologies, and identifying the right applications that will support the further proliferation of these technologies at the lowest capital cost and highest-impact locations.”

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