December 22, 2023

COVERAGE ROUNDUP: Goleta Energy Storage dedication in the press

Capable of powering 30,000 households for several hours, the 25,000-square-foot 60-megawatt facility is the largest in the county.

A number of area officials joined GridStor CEO Chris Taylor to set the electrons in motion, among them Supervisor Joan Hartmann, who recalled the vulnerability of the transmission towers along the Santa Ynez Range. “During the Thomas Fire, the firefighters were deployed to protect the towers and the power lines,” she said, adding that the new battery backup would be available when SoCal Edison had to call a Public Safety Power Shutoff for wildfire safety.

The new energy storage system uses 44 Tesla batteries and is the biggest of its kind in Santa Barbara County.

Santa Barbara County Supervisor Joan Hartmann says, “having the ability to generate and store power locally means reliability and it means lower costs over the long run.”

“This facility will improve resilience through the heat waves and winter storms in addition to helping meet the daily needs of our city’s growing population,” Kyle Richards, Goleta mayor pro tem, said on Friday. 

The Goleta Energy Storage site can power the equivalent of 30,000 households every day through the hours of greatest demand on the electric system.

“GridStor’s Goleta Energy Storage project will secure grid power for one of our most climate-vulnerable regions as California continues to deploy new, clean power infrastructure in pursuit of our climate and energy goals,” said Rohimah Moly, deputy director of energy & climate at the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.

Portland-based GridStor on Friday opened a 60-megawatt lithium-ion battery facility in California that can supply electricity to all of the 30,000-plus residents of the city of Goleta, where the plant is located.

While GridStor was only founded last year, it has already received the support of Horizon Energy Storage, a fund managed by Goldman Sachs, due in part to the experience of Taylor.

“Santa Barbara County generates little of our own power, which makes our infrastructure susceptible during wildfires, mudslides, and other natural disasters. The addition of GridStor’s facility to our electricity grid gives us a critical backup in times of need and is a major step forward for securing our day-to-day power locally.”

“This project demonstrates the City of Goleta’s leadership and the type of collaborative partnership between business and local government necessary to bring the state closer to our carbon neutrality goals.”

Goleta’s new battery storage facility, located at 6864 Cortana Drive, was dedicated Dec. 1. GridStor, an Oregon-based developer and operator of grid-scale battery energy storage systems, dedicated its new Goleta facility on Dec. 1. It’s the newest such facility in California and the largest power source in Santa Barbara County.

“We are committed to our renewable energy goals, and this facility brings us that much closer to a day where we will rely predominately on wind and solar and have less need for the traditional gas-powered plant that has historically served us locally.”