Op-Ed: California’s giant new batteries kept the lights on during the heat wave
In just one week, the temperature above 100 degrees F was the record high in this month. As much as 65F or more above normal, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times, the scorching temperatures were not due to any natural occurrences—the heat of the sun’s rays is to blame. It was caused by a mysterious, giant new battery built by Southern California Edison at its Pacific Gas and Electric Company headquarters on Sepulveda Boulevard in the Los Angeles area.
The new battery, measuring nearly a football field in length, is being described as the equivalent of a “super-heated garbage dump.” The battery is being operated by two of the gas stations in the city, but as the Times reported that other stations in the region are also being asked to use it as well.
“The new battery would be used to cool the air-conditioners,” the newspaper reported.
It has also been nicknamed the “giant trash can.” While it is not a big battery, it is large and complex, with a very large “storage tank” near ground level, reports ABC13. It is operated in conjunction with two solar panels located on top of the garage behind the building.
“It is essentially a giant battery with a big storage tank, two solar panels, and the ability to store energy from the panels to use for heating and cooling in a system that will use roughly the same amount of energy as the existing natural gas-powered gas-heated units in the station,” the Los Angeles Times report stated.
The Los Angeles Times notes that the station itself is a hybrid building, with some of the energy needed to operate the battery coming from the solar panels. The only fuel needed is natural gas.
“The system will use roughly the same amount of energy as the existing natural gas-powered gas-heated units in the station,” the newspaper reported.
While the natural gas-powered units have a heating element that turns on as soon as the sun goes down the temperature in the garage will stay cool when it is open, so the battery will be used for that purpose.
The new, energy-