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.
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.
California has long relied on the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant to meet a substantial portion of its energy needs. An active discussion exists as to what role Diablo Canyon will play in meeting those needs going forward. Regardless of how long the nuclear plant remains open, California must transition to more renewable energy sources and the need for battery storage to support that transition will necessarily increase. Battery storage is essential to ensuring electricity is reliably supplied to California communities on the Central Coast and elsewhere when they need it most.
Among other benefits to the community, Vistra’s proposed BESS project will:
- Revitalize the old power plant site and surrounding area
- Create new jobs and other opportunities in Morro Bay
- Anchor future development and diversify the local economy
- Facilitate preparation of a Master Plan to guide future development
- Enable California’s renewable energy goals
- Enhance electricity supply and reliability
- Provide safe, clean, emission-free, and affordable electricity to businesses and families
Importantly, members of the public will have multiple opportunities to comment on the proposed BESS project before any decision is made by the City.