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Newsom celebrates storage milestone but confirms blackouts are not over yet

California officials on Thursday celebrated a milestone in their quest to achieve a 100-percent clean grid by 2045: the installation of more than 10,000 megawatts of battery storage.

“Battery storage is foundational,” Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said at a press conference next to a battery storage and solar facility in the western Sacramento Valley’s rural Yolo County.

“In fact, the excess generation has gone to other states and has gone obviously, into more battery storage,” the governor added.

At 10,379 megawatts of total battery storage, the state has increased battery capacity by 1,250 percent — up from 770 megawatts — since 2019, according to Newsom’s office.

Meanwhile, last week, the discharge of energy from battery storage to the grid surpassed 6,000 megawatts for the first time ever, his office noted. At that point, batteries were the largest source of power to the grid.

When a reporter asked if this accomplishment could spell the end of California’s blackouts, Newsom quickly turned to Texas, describing the Lone Star State’s blackout issues as “severe” due to the unpredictable nature of oil and gas and extreme weather.

“This is our biggest power source in California — significantly bigger than the last remaining nuclear plant in the state of California,” Newsom said.

“So no, this is not today announcing that blackouts are part of our past, but we want to do everything we can to mitigate that,” the governor added, characterizing every September as a “point of anxiety.”

“But storage saved us last year,” he added. “It will be a huge part of the solution going forward.”

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