Tesla will install a Powerpack energy storage system totaling 8 megawatts in Tahoe, California. The system will hold power for local solar farms and other sources to help stabilize the local electric grid. The Powerpack system that rose to fame from their use in South Australia will help the Squaw Valley Ski Resort achieve its goal of using 100% renewable energy by the end of 2018. The proposed “Olympic Valley Microgrid Project” was announced late last month by the Squaw Valley resort and Liberty Utilities.
Powerpack to provide stability
“Battery energy storage can facilitate use of renewable energy sources. Battery storage can also improve service reliability and help offset purchases from fossil fuel sources during times of high electricity demand, saving money for our customers. The Olympic Valley Microgrid project proposal is just one piece in a larger mosaic of renewable energy and battery energy storage projects that Liberty Utilities is exploring throughout our service territory,” said President of Liberty Utilities’ West Region, Greg Sorensen.
The ski resort will provide the land for the system to be built on, while the system will be owned, operated and maintained by Liberty Utilities. Squaw Valley is well on track to achieving their 100% renewable goal by the end of the year thanks to a recent deal with a local solar energy farm.
Ski Resort on 100% renewable target
The new Powerpack system will allow the resort to continue to use renewable energy during blackouts. It currently needs to rely on diesel generators to keep lifts and other critical equipment running during power outages. “We had quite a few brownouts and blackouts last year,” said Andy Wirth, president of the company that operates both Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows recreation areas. “This system will provide four to six hours for the community and or the resorts.”
In addition to their goal of 100 percent renewable energy use, the Squaw Valley Resort is setting other goals in relation to the environment. The popular holiday destination has banned the single-use plastic water bottle sales and is in the process of introducing rideshare and carpool incentive programs, and more.
Liberty Utilities will reach mandate
Wirth went on to describe the bigger impact of the project. “It is inspiring to work with a motivated and innovative utility provider like Liberty Utilities on a project that will bring tangible, long-lasting benefits to the power grid that supplies our entire community,” said Wirth. “This project has the ability to significantly increase the resiliency of Olympic Valley’s current power sources, and help set the entire Tahoe Truckee region on a path toward a greater goal of identifying and implementing 100 percent renewable energy sources.”
The project is still under review by the California Public Utilities Commission and Placer County. If approved the project will help Liberty Utilities meet their requirements under California law to provide 50 percent renewable energy supply by 2030.
Ski Resort in Tahoe Will Get Tesla Powerpacks to Reach 100% Renewable Energy Goal, by Jessica Miley, Interesting Engineering, February 6, 2019.