Hummingbird Energy Storage ::  Part of Landmark Procurement to Replace Natural Gas


Technology           Lithium ion battery energy storage

Capacity              75 MW / 300 MWh

Location              San Jose, California

Status Development

Metcalf Substation at 115 kV

Gen-Tie Underground — Largely City of
San Jose Public Easement

Ownership           100% esVolta LP

Customer              Pacific Gas & Electric

Key Fact              esVolta’s largest project to date

Hummingbird developed specifically to reduce PG&E’s reliance on natural gas generation

  • In 2017, Metcalf Generating Station, a 605 MW natural gas fired plant in Coyote Valley, filed to withdraw from the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) market, due to the poor economics of operating the plant.

  • CAISO said Metcalf could not safely retire as it is critical for local grid reliability, and required PG&E to sign a Reliability Must Run (RMR) contract with Metcalf at above market prices.

  • The decision to keep Metcalf running was protested by environmental groups, resulting in the California Public Utility Commission requiring PG&E to conduct an RFP to determine if energy storage could replace the retiring natural gas generation at a lower cost.

  • The energy storage projects offered in the RFP were competitive with the RMR contract and PG&E awarded agreements to several projects including Hummingbird.

Hummingbird Project Benefits

Sources: S&P Global Market Intelligence, “   GHG Emissions from a Typical Passenger Vehicle   ”  USA EPA:

Sources: S&P Global Market Intelligence, “GHG Emissions from a Typical Passenger Vehicle

Environmental Group Support

Earth Justice, The Union of Concerned Scientists, Sierra Club, California Environmental Justice Alliance and the Environmental Defense Fund filed a joint letter to the California Public Utilities Commission voicing their support for the battery projects selected by PG&E, including Hummingbird, stating they would:

result in improved air quality, reduced greenhouse gas pollution, and significant ratepayer savings…

Environmental Benefits of the Hummingbird Project

Greenhouse Gas Reduction ::

Battery storage such as Hummingbird reduces reliance on gas generation during periods of peak electricity demand and decreases wasteful cycling of gas-fired generation

Renewable Energy Integration ::

Battery storage such as Hummingbird responds instantly to grid fluctuations, maximizing value of existing renewables and enabling addition of more new intermittent renewables to California’s gird

Water Quality + Supply ::

Unlike gas generation, Hummingbird requires no water for operations and will have no emissions or discharges which could impact water quality

Air Quality ::

Hummingbird has zero emissions, with no adverse impact on air quality

Traffic ::

Once operational, Hummingbird will have no full-time employees; a single local tech will visit several times a week, and a team of 8-10 techs will spend about a week doing major maintenance annually

Waste ::

Hummingbird creates no appreciable waste or emissions of any kind

Hazardous Materials ::

Hummingbird creates no hazardous waste due to its lithium iron phosphate (LFP) chemistry which contains no fluids or gels (unlike lead-acid batteries), no cobalt (unlike many lithium-ion batteries), and no toxic emissions or wastes (unlike nuclear or gas);  end-of-life battery recycling taken into account during project planning

Construction ::

Hummingbird’s short (~6 month) build timeline minimizes inconvenience to the community

Noise ::

Hummingbird creates almost no noise, as it is enclosed in a warehouse