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Probably just the simple economics of cost of land vs cost of construction of a new building + ongoing maintenance.

I'm sure if they ever saw need to place this in a city they would construct a building. But for now, it's probably cheaper to just build out where land is cheap (and possibly closer to generation source) and then transport the energy to where it's being used.

How safe would it be to put large quantities of a potentially unstable alkali metal in close proximity to lots of humans?

I know your comment is meant as a potshot, but it actually points out an interesting side-point: safer than putting in a natural gas plant.

In California, the Puente gas plant made headlines last year because they found it was cheaper to create battery storage than an equivalently-sized gas peaker plant. A large part was permitting and land rights. People don't want an emissions-spewing gas plant in their backyard, but an array of batteries in what looks like every other industrial warehouse is much more palatable. (Time-to-go-live was another factor: battery arrays are modular and can be distributed across multiple sites to further minimize risk, a gas plant is a massive multi-year centralized organizational challenge with all the associated costs and all-or-nothing risks)


Another side of the organizational improvements that batteries have: redeployable.

Underprovision? Pour some more concrete, truck a couple more batteries in.

Overprovision? Load em up again and resell them to someone who wants them. Can't quite do that with a gas plant.

Sure there will be some overhead lost, but it just make soooo much sense to go with battiers from a risk perspective.

Definitely, I saw that these units are sized to standard container dimensions as well so they could even load them onto a truck for temporary load balancing or supplying power.

They also look (but I'm a layman) easily maintainable, more like server racks than high tension electricity stations. I wonder if the batteries would be hot swappable.

I mean, we all sleep with phones under our pillow, so

I'll have you know that my phone is at least eight inches away from my head at night.

Haha noooooo way. Even if the EM doesn’t cause any health issues, battery combustion due to overheating right under my head might.

Quite a bit of alkali metal ions exist in your body, your kitchen, and your food.

Probably pretty safe with an appropriate fire suppression system in the building.

I dunno, Teslas going up in flames sometimes cause pretty dangerous fires - iirc in one instance they put a car wreck in a container full of water so the lithium could burn out overnight.

But, if something starts to go wrong it should have monitoring systems and an engineer can swap out the faulty module, and if it does go wrong I hope they have good containment.

But, not much you can do against a proper lithium battery / electrical fire I suspect.

Replace all air in the facility with Halon. That'll put out most fires.

If it's stacked up in a building maybe they can use the energy to lift-off and self destruct elsewhere ;)

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