Southern California Edison will use battery storage to hold and dispense power instead of building a new natural gas plant. That is something of a break-through in the power industry. Utilities have typically opted for new power plants to ensure they had enough power. Battery storage technology has been advancing and SCE believes it can store enough power to bridge peak demand.
Big point. Peak demand – short-term needs such as when it is really hot for a few hours and everyone is running AC. “Since energy storage resources [“batteries”] have finite capacities, they cannot run indefinitely like gas plants with sufficient supply.” Just like a flashlight can run down batteries. Both gas plants and batteries can crank out power fast – meaning they are dispatchable – and that is positive. Keep in mind, however, if dirty power plants charge the battery the power cannot be “clean” in any sense. (Source – GreenTech Media)
Strata Solar, a Durham, NC-based company, will build/own the system and dispatch power for SCE. “This system will tie for largest lithium-ion battery in the world when it comes online in December 2020.” (Source)