CPUC Gives Green Light To New San Diego Energy Storage Projects


The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved a proposal by San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) to build two new energy storage projects in San Diego County. In May, the CPUC directed Southern California electric utilities to fast-track additional energy storage options to enhance regional energy reliability.

“We were in the process of a competitive solicitation for energy storage and already had completed a pre-evaluation of respondents. As a result, we could move quickly to respond to the CPUC’s request for expedited proposals,” explains James P. Avery, SDG&E’s chief development officer.

In mid-July, SDG&E signed an agreement with AES for a total of 37.5 MW of lithium-ion battery storage using AES’ Advancion energy storage solution. The utility plans to charge the batteries during times when there is an abundance of solar or wind power and discharge them during the peak usage time in the early evening.

“These batteries are beneficial because they maintain a reliable flow of energy to customers when they need it most,” explains Avery. “We also are national leaders in supplying renewable resources, with more than 33 percent of the energy we supply to customers coming from wind and solar. These batteries will help smoothly integrate this growing supply of clean energy onto the power grid for use by our customers.”

According to AES, the SDG&E-owned Advancion arrays will be installed at two utility substation facilities: 30 MW in Escondido and 7.5 MW in El Cajon. Both arrays will incorporate components from Advancion-certified suppliers, including batteries by Samsung SDI and power conversion systems by Parker Hannifin.

Construction on the two storage projects will begin immediately and should be completed in early 2017. The CPUC requires SDG&E to procure a total of 165 MW of energy storage by 2020, to be operational by 2024.

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