The United States has, of late, made much of its ability to produce its own electricity from natural gas – which regularly accounts for around a third of the country’s generation. In fact, until the last few years, natural gas generation has grown steadily in the United States and, sometime in 2015, overtook coal as the country’s leading generator of electricity. However, recent news out of California shows that the long-term dominance of natural gas is under questions, with California electric utility Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) announcing it intends to replace three ageing natural gas power plants with battery-storage systems. The California Public Utilities Commission last week formally approved four PG&E energy-storage contracts intended for Northern California’s electricity grid – including a project to be constructed by Tesla. The approval stems from PG&E’s response to the Commission’s own order in January to replace the power it receives from three Calpine Corp. gas plants that are at risk of retirement, and to consider using battery projects. Moving to replace the three gas power plants requires significant capacity, and the four recently-approved battery projects will amount to a total 568 MW.
Renew Economy 19th Nov 2018 read more »