Tesla connecting a Brazoria County battery storage facility to the Texas power grid

Tesla is working on a battery storage facility in Brazoria County. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Tesla is working on a battery storage facility in Brazoria County. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Tesla is working on a battery storage facility in Brazoria County. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Electric carmaker and energy company Tesla is working to connect a battery station under construction in Brazoria County to the Texas power grid.

The power station, known as Gambit Energy Storage Park, is located in Angleton at West Mulberry St. and Murray Ranch Road. The was 7.7-acre lot was purchased by Tesla subsidiary Gambit Energy Storage, LLC in August 2020, according to permits filed with Brazoria County.

The city of Angleton published a project summary for the project on its website in 2019 showing that Gambit Energy Storage Park was originally proposed by Spring, Texas-based Plus Power, LLC, whose leadership team has connections to Tesla. Lithium-ion batteries will be housed in climate-controlled containers and provide backup energy storage to the local electrical grid. According to a report by Bloomberg, the site will store more than 100 megawatts of energy, enough to power around 20,000 homes for a day.

"This location is ideal for energy storage due to the unique electrical infrastructure (i.e. available space) of the Angleton substation,” the project summary reads. “Additionally, Angleton forms an especially volatile 'node' on the ERCOT energy grid, and the greater system will benefit from the energy balancing properties that the battery can provide."

ERCOT, also known as the Energy Reliability Council of Texas, was criticized by Tesla CEO Elon Musk following the widespread power outages during Winter Storm Uri in February. ERCOT’s grid came within five minutes of statewide failure during the crisis.

“Not earning that R,” Musk wrote in a Feb. 17 tweet referencing ERCOT.

A 2019 presentation by Plus Power to Angleton City Council also identified weaknesses in the ERCOT grid, including an “aging generation fleet” and narrow energy reserve margin as potential issues for emergency situations that could be aided by battery storage.

Musk has indicated his intention to grow Tesla’s presence in the energy industry; in a July 2020 quarterly earnings call that Tesla Energy would in the long term be “roughly the same size as Tesla Automotive." Tesla has an existing 100-megawatt battery storage facility in Australia, and also produces the Powerwall, a battery-charging station Tesla owners can purchase for their homes.

“In order to achieve a sustainable energy future, we have to have sustainable energy generation, which I think is going to be primarily solar and followed by wind, [but] those are intermittent,” he said during the call. “You need to have a lot of batteries to store the solar energy, because the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine.”

The Gambit Energy project is the latest in a flurry of investments Musk has made in Texas. After announcing the construction of a Tesla gigafactory east of Austin in July 2020, another of his companies, tunnel-building firm The Boring Co., leased property in Travis County. In March, job postings on the aerospace company SpaceX's website also indicated plans to build a manufacturing facility in Austin.
By Olivia Aldridge
Olivia is the reporter for Community Impact's Central Austin edition. A graduate of Presbyterian College in upstate South Carolina, Olivia was a reporter and producer at South Carolina Public Radio before joining Community Impact in Austin.


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