Replacing Peaker Plants with Battery Storage

Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM ET

Thanks to impressive price declines over the past few years, battery storage is beginning to be considered and deployed as a grid resource to meet system peak electricity demands – challenging the business case for traditional peaker plants for the first time.

Unlike baseload power plants that are built to operate throughout the year, peaker plants are designed to be called on only when the  demand for electricity spikes – during a summer heat wave when air conditioners are running full blast or a winter cold snap when electric heaters struggle to keep homes warm. There are more than 800 peaker plants in operation across the country, with another 20 gigawatts planned for development the next decade.

Due to their design and the way they’re operated, peaker plants, which are often powered by natural gas, tend to emit hazardous pollutants at a higher rate than baseload gas plants. They also tend to be built closer to population centers and are disproportionately located in disadvantaged communities, contributing to poor air quality and threatening public health.

This webinar presented the case for battery storage, both standalone and paired with renewables, as an increasingly viable alternative to traditional fossil-fuel peaker plants.

Topics covered included:

  • the economics of batteries versus peakers,
  • a look at solar and storage peaker projects in development,
  • an overview of the emissions and social equity impact of existing peaker plants; and
  • the story of how one proposed peaker plant was successfully challenged by advocates in California.


  • Seth Mullendore, Vice President and Project Director, Clean Energy Group
  • Elena Krieger, Clean Energy Program Director, Physicians, Scientists, and Engineers for Healthy Energy
  • Lucas Zucker, Policy and Communications Director, Central Coast Alliance for A Sustainable Economy (CAUSE)

This webinar was presented by Clean Energy Group’s Resilient Power Project. Learn more at