Tesla is building a giant battery that will be plugged into the Texas power grid that got devastated by last month’s winter storm, a new report says.
A subsidiary of the electric-car maker called Gambit Energy Storage is quietly working on the massive facility in Angleton, Texas, a small city about 40 miles outside Houston, according to Bloomberg News.
With more than 100 megawatts of capacity, the battery can deliver enough juice to power some 20,000 homes even in the summer heat, the outlet reported Monday.
The project appears to be part of Tesla’s energy business, which Musk has said will eventually be “will be roughly the same size” as its primary electric-car business.
Tesla is apparently trying to keep the work under wraps — equipment at the site is covered by white sheets and a worker told visiting photographer that the project was “secretive,” Bloomberg says.
But the energy-storage system is reportedly registered with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the nonprofit that oversees a power grid serving more than 26 million customers. Tesla CEO Elon Musk slammed the group known as ERCOT after the February cold snap caused widespread blackouts, saying it was “not earning that R.”
ERCOT executive Warren Lasher told Bloomberg that Tesla’s battery had a “proposed commercial operation date” of June 1, though details of its capability and duration are still unclear.
Batteries like these are often used to store electricity produced by wind and solar energy, but their owners can sell power back to the local grid when prices are high, according to Bloomberg.
Tesla has already plugged battery packs into a Southern California Edison substation near Los Angeles and used them to support the grid during peak hours, the outlet reported. The Silicon Valley company is also reportedly building a battery system in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.