BEI Construction is seeing a surge in demand for battery energy storage projects. The firm is currently involved in several of these projects that take advantage of Tesla Megapacks, a lithium-ion battery that can store up to 3 MWh (megawatt-hr) of energy. Tesla makes the batteries, and hired BEI Construction to install the Tesla Megapacks. Blymyer Engineers, a frequent design/build partner with BEI, designed the projects, two of which are located in California. The third is located in Arizona. A new Arizona BEI location is running that project.
The three large-scale Tesla Megapack projects are:
This 10 MW battery energy storage facility is located in Carpinteria, California. Carpinteria and the surrounding areas are served by an electric transmission line that crosses about 40 miles of mountainous terrain. The electric supply in not always reliable. Vallecito is served by 15 Tesla Megapacks, and the project will bring greater demand response and grid resiliency to the area. While not served by a specific renewable project, the site will help facilitate the addition of wind or solar power to the area by providing a place to store excess power. Viridity Energy will operate the facility.
This 11 MW battery energy storage facility is located in Camarillo, California. It includes 15 Tesla Megapacks. Facility operator Able Grid develops and builds energy storage facilities. The company’s goal is to make it easier for utilities to add resiliency to their systems and provide sustainable energy.
This 25 MW battery energy storage project will serve the Agua Fria Generating Station in Glendale, Arizona. The 1950s era station produces energy from natural gas and oil. Early this century, facility operator Salt River Project (SRP) added solar generation capabilities. Agua Fria was built to add power capacity during periods of peak demand. The addition of 35 Tesla Megapacks will enhance the facility’s ability to support reliable power delivery for SRP’s customers. BEI is managing this project from its new Arizona office.
“Battery energy storage is one of the most efficient ways to add resiliency to the grid,” says BEI Principal Dominic DiMare. “Batteries add storage to help meet demand that used to be addressed by fossil-fuel burning peaker plants that run during periods of high power use.”
BEI opens Arizona office
BEI Construction’s new Arizona office took on the Agua Fria battery energy storage project as it opened for business in early 2021. David Hall heads the Arizona office, and he brings more than 30 years of experience to his role. Over the course of his career, Hall has focused primarily on sustainable energy and the electrical industry. He’s also a passionate advocate for efficient processes, proactive communication, and integrity.
“David has earned the respect of his peers over the course of his career,” says DiMare. “He’s a great fit with the BEI culture. We’re seeing the results of his work ethic on the Agua Fria project. He’s managing the project, keeping it on track, and making sure all stakeholders stay informed. We anticipate installing more energy storage projects in Arizona, and he’s sure to be an even bigger asset going forward.”
Family gains new friend on Agua Fria project
The crew on the Agua Fria project met a new friend during construction. A little terrier/mixed breed dog regularly visited the site over several weeks. The job supervisor for SRP, Oscar Ledezma, liked the friendly stray, and decided to adopt her. He brought her home to his family. She’s a welcome new addition, and the family and the dog have become great friends. The dog’s name? Tesla, of course.