In partnership with AES Energy Storage, San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) has unveiled what the utility says is the world’s largest lithium-ion battery energy storage facility. Located in Escondido, Calif., the 30 MW facility is capable of storing up to 120 MWh of energy, the energy equivalent of serving 20,000 customers for four hours.
SDG&E says the facility’s 400,000 batteries, similar to those in electric vehicles, were installed in nearly 20,000 modules and placed in 24 containers. The batteries will act like a sponge, soaking up and storing energy when it is abundant – when the sun is shining, the wind is blowing and energy use is low – and releasing it when energy resources are in high demand. This will provide reliable energy when customers need it most and maximize the use of renewable resources, such as solar and wind, the utility adds.
Last year, the California Public Utility Commission directed Southern California investor-owned electric utilities to fast-track additional energy storage options to enhance regional energy reliability. In response, SDG&E expedited ongoing negotiations and contracted with AES Energy Storage to build two projects for a total of 37.5 MW of lithium-ion battery energy storage; in addition to the 30 MW facility in Escondido, a smaller 7.5 MW installation was built in El Cajon.
“San Diego County is a community of leadership and innovation, so it is only fitting that this community should receive the benefit of this unique project,” says Scott Drury, SDG&E’s president. “For more than a decade, SDG&E has been at the forefront to deliver results consistent with state and local clean energy and carbon emission goals. These projects affirm our commitment to deliver clean energy to customers and to provide a more reliable power supply to our electric grid when it is most needed.”
John Zahurancik, AES Energy Storage president, adds, “SDG&E is a leader in providing clean, reliable power to their customers, and we’re honored that they chose Advancion energy storage to serve their needs. These two projects, including the world’s largest advanced energy storage site, are the latest proof of energy storage’s capacity to scale up and solve our most-pressing grid issues in a short period.”
SDG&E says energy storage is playing a key role in the utility’s commitment to delivering clean, safe and reliable energy. By 2030, the company expects to develop or interconnect more than 330 MW of energy storage on its system. These projects can help support the delivery of more renewables to customers.