From the classroom to up close and personal with Texas’ largest battery energy storage system, a dozen engineering students from Tarleton State University toured Vistra’s DeCordova Energy Storage Facility. The visit gave students a look inside a working power plant to see how their classroom knowledge and skills translate into the real world.
Plant leaders began the tour with an overview of the site’s layout, which, in addition to the battery system, also uniquely includes a quick-start natural gas-fueled plant that has a seven-day supply of backup diesel fuel onsite. Vistra’s president and CEO, Jim Burke, likes to call it the “Swiss Army knife” of power plant sites due to its many layers of grid resiliency.
“For many of them, it was their first experience with anything outside of the classroom,” said Premeesh Toolsie, mechanical engineering instructor for Tarleton’s department of engineering technology. “I was really excited to showcase our students and help build their passion for applying the theory into the real world.”
The tour led to endless questions about the technology and students shared that this visit gave them affirmation about their career goals and aspirations.
How It Works
The batteries capture excess electricity from the grid, primarily overnight during high wind-output hours, and release power when customer demand is the highest. The battery system can store and release enough electricity to power approximately 130,000 average Texas residences during normal grid conditions.
DeCordova is part of a growing portfolio of zero-carbon generation projects Vistra is bringing online in Texas. To learn more, Vistra Zero.