Los Angeles plans America’s largest solar energy storage system

The board of commissioners of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has voted in favour of power agreements that will pave the way for the largest solar and battery energy storage system in the US.

The Eland Solar and Storage Centre will capture and store power, reducing natural gas use at night or on cloudy days when solar energy is less available. Altogether, the 2,650-acre Mojave desert site in Kern County, California, will be able to generate up to 400MW of energy and store up to 1,200MWh, enough to power 283,330 homes.

The Eland proposal, which will be built in two phases, was selected out of a pool of 130 because of the project’s scope and competitive price, which included a fixed cost of less than 2 cents per kilowatt-hour, the lowest price for solar energy in US history. The contract will cost less than $5 per year for each LADWP customer.

American renewable firm 8Minutenergy will fund the development, maintenance and operation of the facility.

Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles’ mayor, said: "The climate crisis has never been more dire, but the solutions have never been clearer or cheaper – and Los Angeles is investing in renewable energy and cleaning our air as part of my LADWP reform agenda.

"The Eland Solar and Storage Center will help us keep the lights on without the help of dirty fossil fuels and power our progress toward a low-carbon, green-energy future."

Image: Solar panels (Umarin Nakamura/Dreamstime)

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