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Vistra Energy's (VST) Moss Landing Phase I Comes Online

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Zacks Equity Research
·4 min read
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Vistra Energy Corp.’s VST Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility is connected to its power grid and started its commercial activities on Dec 11, 2020. The project is the flagship of the company’s 4,000-Megawatt (MW) zero-carbon portfolio and includes a total of five battery projects in California and Texas.

The Moss Landing —Phase I is the lithium-ion battery storage system, located onsite at Vistra Energy's Moss Landing Power Plant in Monterey County. With an energy capacity of 300 MW/1,200 Megawatt hours (MWh), the project is one of the largest across the globe. It is fitted inside the power plant's refurbished former turbine building and can power 225,000 homes during the peak electricity pricing periods.

Details of Other Projects

Prior to the Phase 1, the company’s Upton 2 project came online in December 2018 with a capacity of 10 MW/42 MWh. Also, construction of its Phase II started with an expectation to be activated by August 2021. This phase will add 100 MW/400 MWh to the facility, increasing its total capacity to 400 MW/1,600 MWh. Both phases are backed by the long-term resource adequacy contracts with Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation PCG.

Moreover, two more projects namely, DeCordova and Oakland with respective capacities of 260 MW/260 MWh and 36.25 MW/145 MWh are expected to come online in 2022. Remarkably, the project can support up to 1,500 MW/6,000 MWh of storage capacity.

Benefits of the Project

As California moves to clean energy, batteries will be a game changer. Vistra Energy’s Moss Landing project has a battery system that will serve as the model for utility-scale battery storage in the upcoming period. The project fortifies an existing power plant site, uses active transmission lines and enhances grid stability. This will not only benefit the local community but also provide affordable clean electricity to consumers.

Vistra Energy’s Efforts to Shift to Clean Energy

Previously, in September, the utility had announced a comprehensive plan to accelerate its transition to clean power-generation sources and initiatives to trim its carbon footprint. It had launched Vistra Zero, a portfolio of zero-carbon power-generation facilities.

Also, the company set a target to reduce 60% of CO2 equivalent emissions, up from its previous 50% goal by 2030 compared with the 2010 baseline. Further, it expects to achieve a long-term net-zero carbon emission objective, up from the past 80% reduction target, by 2050.

Moreover, Vistra Energy expects to retire its partly-owned seven Luminant power plants with a total capacity of more than 6,800 MW between 2022 and 2027. These coal plants remain economically challenged as they require significant capital expenditures for compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency filing deadlines. Retirement of these plants will be another step into the direction of the company’s efforts to achieve its clean-energy production targets.

Peer Moves

Other electric utilities are also adopting measures to supply clean and reliable energy to their customers. Some of the companies, namely Duke Energy DUK and Alliant Energy LNT are planning to provide absolute clean energy by 2050.

Zacks Rank & Price Performance

Vistra Energy currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

In the past three months, shares of the company have gained 12.2%, outperforming the industry’s rise of 1%.

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Duke Energy Corporation (DUK) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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Vistra Energy Corp. (VST) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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