This website was created by Vistra with the goal of providing public information and full transparency as we move forward with our proposed Morro Bay battery energy storage facility.
Who is Vistra?
Vistra is a market-leader in battery energy storage and in 2020 announced it would spend approximately $5 billion by 2030 in renewable and battery energy storage, including nearly $1 billion of development projects already underway, rotating its generation fleet towards zero-emission technologies. Vistra’s existing facility in Moss Landing is the flagship project of the company’s carbon-free Vistra Zero portfolio of generation assets.
Why does Vistra want to install batteries at Morro Bay?
Vistra is proud to be a leader in supporting California to meet its goal of powering the State with 100% carbon-free energy by 2045. Battery storage is essential to reaching that goal. Because renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar farms, generate energy intermittently, the amount of energy generated at a given moment can vary based on the time of day or weather conditions. The result can be too much energy, which goes to waste, or too little energy to meet demand.
Batteries are the solution. For example, they can store excess solar or wind power for use by residents and businesses when the sun goes down. Vistra’s project would be a reliable source of renewable energy for thousands of California businesses and families.
Where would the batteries be installed?
In December 2020, Vistra submitted to the City of Morro Bay an application for a permit to build a battery energy storage system (BESS). The proposed BESS project would be located on an approximately 24-acre portion of the 107-acre Morro Bay Power Plant site, which is private land owned by Vistra. The power plant was closed in 2014 and the BESS would be in the area previously known as the tank farm.
When is this going to happen?
The application is at an early stage of the review process. On June 3, 2022, the City of Morro Bay issued a Notice of Preparation to inform the public it is preparing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). In the coming months, the City is expected to circulate a draft EIR for a minimum 45-day public review and comment period. No decision can be made on the application until the CEQA process is complete, which is expected to occur in 2023.
Support for Vistra’s Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility
Congressman Jimmy Panetta: “As California and the Central Coast derive more and more of our energy from renewable resources, storage is key for ensuring that power is available when the sun isn’t shining, and the wind isn’t blowing. The energy storage facility that Vistra is deploying in Moss Landing will help us build a more reliable, low-emission grid, providing zero-emission power to communities far and wide when they need it. As we face the increasing threat of wildfires and disruptions to our grid, this backup power can serve to bolster our grid’s stability and reliability.”
State Senator John Laird: “California has committed itself to a renewable energy future and the Central Coast is the perfect example of how to transition former fossil fuel plants to renewable energy centers. Vistra’s Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility is a testament to that bright future. Developing battery storage in conjunction with wind and solar energy will ensure reliable, clean energy for decades to come.”
Monterey County Supervisor John M. Phillips: “When people think about Moss Landing energy, they usually envision the landmark power plant and its two tall smokestacks. In fact, Vistra’s Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility is the largest battery storage facility of its kind in the world and is providing a tremendous amount of reliable, clean energy. Vistra continues to be an outstanding community partner and reliable steward of the historic Moss Landing Power Plant.”
Mark Rothleder, senior vice president and chief operating officer, California Independent System Operator: “This facility and others like it will show California and the world what lithium-ion battery storage can accomplish. It will help us keep the lights on this summer and summers to come.”
Vistra (NYSE: VST) is a leading Fortune 500 integrated retail electricity and power generation company based in Irving, Texas, providing essential resources for customers, commerce, and communities. Vistra combines an innovative, customer-centric approach to retail with safe, reliable, diverse, and efficient power generation. The company brings its products and services to market in 20 states and the District of Columbia, including six of the seven competitive wholesale markets in the U.S. and markets in Canada and Japan, as well. Serving nearly 4.3 million residential, commercial, and industrial retail customers with electricity and natural gas, Vistra is one of the largest competitive electricity providers in the country and offers over 50 renewable energy plans. The company is also the largest competitive power generator in the U.S., with a capacity of approximately 39,000 megawatts powered by a diverse portfolio, including natural gas, nuclear, coal, solar, and battery energy storage facilities. In addition, Vistra is a large purchaser of wind power. The company owns and operates the 400-MW/1,600-MWh battery energy storage system in Moss Landing, California, the largest of its kind in the world. Vistra is guided by four core principles: we do business the right way, we work as a team, we compete to win, and we care about our stakeholders, including our customers, our communities where we work and live, our employees, and our investors. Learn more about our environmental, social, and governance efforts and read the company’s sustainability report at https://www.vistracorp.com/sustainability/.