Vistra – an integrated retail electricity and power generation company based in Texas – has announced that its DeCordova Energy Storage Facility in Granbury, Texas, is online and storing and releasing electricity to the ERCOT grid in time for another hot Texas summer. The 260-megawatt/260 megawatt-hour battery energy storage project is the largest of its kind in the Lone Star State.
First announced in September 2020, DeCordova is the second of seven new zero-carbon projects Vistra is bringing online in Texas over the next few years as part of its growing Vistra Zero portfolio. These new power generation facilities represent a nearly $1 billion capital investment by the company within the Texas ERCOT market.
“As our fleet and electric grids across the country transition to cleaner generation, we haven’t lost sight of our essential role in providing reliable, affordable electricity. The battery storage technology at DeCordova accomplishes those objectives – providing instantaneous-start, dispatchable generation to help balance the intermittency of renewable energy as the electric grid transitions to low-to-zero-carbon resources,” said Curt Morgan, CEO of Vistra. “No doubt, a project of this size and an overall investment this ambitious solidifies Vistra’s position as a market leader in investing in, owning, and operating emission-free power generation in Texas and beyond while balancing affordability and reliability.”
Jim Burke, Vistra president and chief financial officer, added, “DeCordova offers a unique value proposition – not only can this battery system provide instantaneous full power to the grid with the flip of a switch, but it is also co-located on the same site as our quick-start DeCordova natural gas-fueled power plant. This pairing means we essentially have a large, one-hour battery system with dispatchable, reliable generation, leading to continuity of operation and resiliency of the grid. In addition, these gas-fueled generation units have seven days of diesel backup in the event of any disruption of natural gas supplies, which is yet another example of the resiliency aspect of the Decordova site.”
Comprised of more than 3,000 individual battery modules, DeCordova Energy Storage Facility can store enough electricity to power approximately 130,000 average Texas residences during normal grid conditions. The batteries capture excess electricity from the grid, primarily overnight during high wind-output hours, and can release the power when customer demand is highest.
DeCordova Energy Storage Facility utilizes lithium-ion technology housed in containers that, in addition to project inverters, were supplied by Sungrow, the project integrator. Mortenson provided engineering and construction expertise. Project construction began in June 2021 and was finished in less than a year.
Along with DeCordova and Brightside Solar Facility, Vistra is also completing the 108-MW Emerald Grove Solar Facility in Crane County ahead of summer. Together with its existing emission-free generation assets, including the most efficient nuclear plant in the country – Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant, these projects bring the company’s zero-carbon Vistra Zero portfolio to nearly 3,300 MW online, with plans to grow to more than 7,300 MW by 2026.