Tesla Energy, together with tech infrastructure firm Switch and asset management firm Capital Dynamics, is involved in a massive sustainable energy project that’s poised to become one of the largest solar and battery installations in the world. The initiative, dubbed as the “Gigawatt 1” project, is expected to generate 555MW of solar power and create 800MWh of battery storage for Nevada.
The project’s announcement was related on sustainable energy outlet PVTech on Thursday. The Gigawatt 1 initiative will be comprised of three key solar and battery installations. Work has already begun on facilities at Clark and Storey County. And according to the firms involved in the project, the Storey County installation will be “the largest behind-the-meter solar project in the world” with its 127MW/240MWh size.
The batteries that would be utilized for the Gigawatt 1 project will be Tesla’s flagship energy product, the Megapack. The Megapack is Tesla’s largest energy storage unit, and it’s specifically designed for grid use. During the product’s announcement last year, Tesla noted that the large battery units feature a 60% increase in energy density over the Powerpack and it boasts up to 3 MWh of storage per pack.
What’s particularly impressive about the Megapack is that it is designed specifically for quick installations. It also comes with an AC interface and DC connectivity for solar grids, making the massive battery unit into a “plug and play” solution. “Using Megapack, Tesla can deploy an emissions-free 250 MW, 1 GWh power plant in less than three months on a three-acre footprint – four times faster than a traditional fossil fuel power plant of that size,” Tesla noted during its announcement of the battery.
Switch and Capital Dynamics noted that the Gigawatt 1 initiative will result in one of the largest solar project portfolios in the world. It will also be a key part of Rob Roy’s Gigawatt Nevada initiative, which was proposed by Switch founder and CEO Rob Roy back in 2015. Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak is particularly supportive of the project. “In the midst of this unprecedented moment in our state’s history, Switch and its partners are investing US$1.3 billion, creating over a thousand new jobs and accelerating Nevada’s leadership in the world’s renewable energy economy,” Sisolak said.
Tesla’s Magapack battery may very well be the company’s most disruptive energy storage solution yet, and based on the company’s Q2 earnings, the product was actually profitable in the second quarter. During the earnings call, Tesla Senior Vice President of Powertrain and Energy Engineering Drew Baglino mentioned that the Megapack has been well received so far.
“I think the Megapack has represented itself and is an integrated rapidly deployable grid-tied storage battery of megawatt hour scale. We’re working with utilities, large and small, not just utilities, but also just like microgrid and project developers of all type and building our own projects where it makes sense and others. There’s a lot of demand for the product and we’re growing the production rates as fast as we can for that product,” he said.