Texans have good reason to concern themselves with their power grid after it spectacularly failed this winter. Fortunately, Ford owners and dealers came to the rescue with their F-150 PowerBoost hybrids, and now Tesla is building a pear to find a more permanent solution. According to a report from Bloomberg GreenGambit Energy Storage, a subsidiary of Tesla, is building a 100-megawatt energy storage facility about 40 miles south of Houston. Such a system could produce enough electricity to run around 20,000 households on a hot summer day.
Tesla already has other mega-batteries in operation, including a 20-megawatt facility east of Los Angeles and a 100-megawatt unit in Australia. Such battery systems serve as a buffer for renewable energy sources – for example, to store energy from wind farms in strong winds and low demand, so that the electricity can be bought back to the grid operator at a profit when there is high demand – or it goes haywire.
In particular, consider the situation in Texas. Last month, Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, tweeted that the Texas Electric Reliability Council (ERCOT) “doesn’t deserve this R.”
Oddly enough, despite Musk’s parents’ love for advertising, the Texas Project seems a little bit secret. Bloomberg reports that employees had the gear covered, and it was just a Tesla logo on an employee’s helmet that passed them on to Gambit’s parent company. Gambit Energy Storage has the same address as another Tesla company, and the intelligence service has found an SEC filing that lists the company as a Tesla subsidiary. Bloomberg tried reaching Tesla for comment but got no response. (No surprise – Tesla ignores the press, and without a PR department, we wouldn’t even try.)
Musk made a beachhead in Texas. Musk has moved to the Lone Star State and is building SpaceX facilities there, as well as Gigafactory Texas, which will reportedly build the Cybertruck.