May 2021
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Also In This Issue The President
and the Lineman

Pittsburgh Member at Heart of Infrastructure Rollout read_more

What Happened in Texas?
Explaining the 2021
Power Crisis read_more

North of 49°
Federal Funding Enhances Training, Opens Doors to More Members read_more

Au nord du 49° parallèle
Le financement fédéral améliore les formations permettant de donner accès à plus de membres read_more

Grounded in History The Origins of May Day read_more

My IBEW Story Stanley Stade read_more





Change of Address


Cover Photo

World's Largest Grid-Storage Project Comes Online in California

The twin smokestacks of Moss Landing power station have been a landmark on the Monterey Bay coast for more than 50 years. They tower over the bright green fields of artichokes and are visible from Santa Cruz to Monterey.

But members of Castroville, Calif., Local 234 recently transformed those towers into a global landmark, turning an outdated oil-burning power station into a cutting-edge step toward solving the North American power grid's biggest problem.

Over the last year, more than 135 Local 234 members filled the cavernous hall of the decommissioned power station with enough batteries to power nearly a quarter million houses for up to four hours.

At 400 megawatts, Moss Landing became the largest grid-scale storage facility in the world when it was commissioned by PG&E in December. It far outstrips the previous record holder, the 250 MW Gateway Energy Storage facility that was built by members of San Diego Local 569 and came online last year.

For scale, in 2018, just 311 MW of grid-scale lithium-ion battery storage was brought online in total.

"It is a sight to see for sure," Local 234 Business Manager Lamont Adams said of Moss Landing's sea of battery racks.

For this first phase, Adams said, workers cleared the original powerhouse to hold nearly 100,000 batteries, 22 in each rack, wired in series with safety modules between each rack. The installation's weight overwhelmed the floor, which was designed to hold turbines, so the structure had to be reinforced and rebuilt to hold 12,000 tons.

"Those DC batteries are no joke. They are heavy, and DC power can be very dangerous if you don't know what you are doing," he said.

The Moss Landing project has the potential to keep growing and providing more jobs in the future. The plant's owner, Vistra Energy, said the location could expand battery capacity up to 1,600 MW/6,000 MWh, a boon to the small local which primarily serves the agricultural communities of the Central Coast.

The higher wages and never-ending walkthroughs at San Jose Local 332 and San Francisco Local 6 are a constant pull for Local 234 members, Adams said. Having a reliable, high-scale job close by has made the choice to stay home a lot easier. read_more

  Local Lines

Officers Column Stephenson:
A Lifetime of Work read_more
On Brotherhood read_more

TransitionsGlenda G. Thomason;
Keenan Eagen;
Rick Hite;
John Lei;
David E. Moran;
Pasquale Gino;
Ted Robison;
Carmella Thomas read_more

PoliticsWalsh Sworn in at DOL;
Pro-Union Deputy Awaits Senate Vote;
2020 BLS Data Demonstrates the Difference a Union Makes read_more

CircuitsCanadian Air Safety in a Flat Spin, Needs a Rescue;
IBEW Steps in to Rescue Ohio Solar Project read_more

LettersNew York's HERO Act Aims to Protect Workers From COVID-19 read_more

LettersRemembering an
Old Friend read_more

In MemoriamMarch 2021 read_more

Who We AreHow One Local 48 Member
is Creating a Chorus
of Allies read_more