One of the most interesting stories around Energy Storage in California is probably the one around 2016 Aliso Canyon gas leak. It led to an expedited approval and commencement of Battery Energy Storage units, in record times.
This is the point in time when Stephan had started working on battery storage. He vividly remembers the challenge he faced soon after stepping into his new role as the Director of Applications Engineering at Powin Energy:
I joined Powin in 2016 as part of the continuation of my passion for renewable energy. After just a few months there I was given a job: design, permit, procure, install, and get a 2MW/8MWh battery online in 6 months in Irvine, California, over Thanksgiving and Christmas!
It is probably what happens in such moments that define us. Here is Stephan recalling what went through his mind at the time:
If I knew then what I know now, I would have said it was impossible! But I didn’t know it then. So I dove in and worked towards making it happen. It was a huge lesson for me: just because you’re certain something is impossible, doesn’t mean you’re right. Creativity, passion, hard work, and the right team can make a seemingly insurmountable task achievable.
The site went from design to operation in a record time of 6 months, making it one of the first and fastest such installations in the world.
I didn’t realize what it meant to be a professional before then- afterwards I had a newfound respect for the people who keep our electrical systems running, who get us to the moon, who keep our hospitals open 24 hours a day.
Soon after the Irvine project (and after a quick detour to Hawaii for my first time snorkeling ever), I was ready for the next impossible task. I was hooked. And knowing that the work I was doing made the world a better place made the impossible even easier.
All the best Stephan on your journey towards GigaWattHours of clean energy.