Nevada put big battery energy storage where a coal plant used to be

Nevada utility NV Energy’s largest battery energy storage system sits on a former coal-fired power plant site and will save customers a lot of money.

Swiss-US battery energy storage specialist Energy Vault (NYSE: NRGV) built the 220 MW/440 MWh grid-tied Reid Gardner Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) in Moapa, Nevada, 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Energy Vault will maintain the system.

The new BESS is on the site of the former 557-megawatt (MW) coal-fired Reid Gardner Generating Station, which was demolished in 2019.

It’s a two-hour energy storage system that stores and dispatches excess wind and solar power. It’s charged and discharged daily and dispatches stored renewable energy at peak consumption hours to help meet demand.

NV Energy CEO Dough Cannon explained to local TV network KTNV:

The hours that [NV Energy] really get concerned about are from about 5 pm to 9 pm. Because what happens, at that point, is the solar energy has really started to ramp off as the sun’s going down. And so, we have often had to go out to the market, the energy market, and buy energy to meet the needs between 5 pm and 9 pm.

Over the last couple of years, on average, we’ve paid $250 a unit of energy during those hours. We look at a project like this, and this can deliver energy for closer to $100 an hour a unit of energy.

The Inflation Reduction Act covered 40% of the project’s $250 million cost. Cannon told KTNV that thanks to the new BESS, the utility’s customers would see a 15-20% reduction in their bills by the end of 2024.

Read more: US, other G7 countries to phase out coal by early 2030s

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