BayWa r.e. Enable Energy Inc.'s plan to construct a Battery Storage System project received the green light Monday from the Ripon Planning Commission.
"We wanted to make sure our community is going to be safe," said Chairman George Saljian following the unanimous vote.
He was pleased to receive safety assurances from Chief Dennis Bitters of the Ripon Consolidated District on the project consisting of the Tesla Megapacks —or something similar — housed in cabinet enclosures located on equipment pads that would be linked together between inverter / transformer pads.
Brandon Reinhardt, an Associate Director/Development at BayWa r.e., indicated that the California Independent System Operator — a non-profit public benefit organization — was instrumental in selecting Ripon, between Modesto, Manteca and the surrounding areas, to construct a Battery Energy Storage System adjacent to the PG&E substation.
BayWa r.e. received the conditional use permit and tentative parcel map to construct and operate the project that, according to Planning Director Ken Zuidervaart in his staff report, would: "enhance transmission grid reliability and further California's goal of decarbonizing the energy sector."
He added the project — planned on a 4.9-acre triangle next to the Flying J Travel Plaza off Highway 99, at 1302 Frontage Road — would consist of battery storage cabinets, transformers, inverters, a main step-up transformer along with an interconnection line to the Ripon PG&E substation.
The project, in addition, would include on-site and off-site improvements along with landscaping, security barrier fencing, and streetscape improvements.
The Tesla mega packs would contain arrays of lithium-ion batteries that would be charged by alternating current energy from PG&E's grid, used when the supply of energy exceeds the demand.
"When energy demand exceeds the supply, the Battery Energy Storage System would then feed energy back into PG&E's grid — this transfer of energy would occur via a main set-up transformer, which would be installed on-site, including electrical protection equipment (circuit breakers, switches, etc.)," Zuidervaart said.
The system would be inspected on a regular basis and would be monitored by a supervisory control and data acquisition system with the ability for remote system control.
A local service technician would also be on-site regularly throughout the workweek — plans call for the Battery Energy Storage System to be enclosed by a 6 or 7-foot-tall commercial quality ornamental security fence around the entire perimeter of the site.
The Ripon Police Department requested the installation of security cameras to further secure the site.
BayAwa r.e., which is also known for renewable energy such as solar, has a similar-type project in Ventura County.
That project reportedly took four months to complete.