SDG&E Plans Energy Storage To Boost California Clean Energy


San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has signed contracts for five new local battery storage facilities for a total of 83.5 MW.

According to the California utility, the four-hour energy storage facilities would be like having batteries from more than 5,500 all-electric, long-range vehicles at the ready. All five battery projects will be able to store supplies of solar, wind and other traditional sources and release it when energy is in high demand, the company adds.

In addition, SDG&E has signed a contract to add a 4.5 MW demand response program, and the company has submitted all six contracts to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for approval.

If approved, two of the five lithium-ion battery energy storage facilities will be owned and operated by SDG&E to enhance regional energy reliability while maximizing renewable energy use.

AES Energy Storage will construct a 40 MW storage facility, building on its successful 37.5 MW of deployments in Escondido and El Cajon, Calif. A 30 MW facility will be built in Miramar by Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. The other storage projects, totaling 13.5 MW, will be owned by third parties, including Powin Energy, Enel Green Power North America and Advanced Microgrid Solutions.

“These projects will add more flexibility to the system and help us to ensure reliability while providing greater levels of clean energy to all of our local communities,” says Emily Shults, SDG&E’s vice president of energy procurement. “By building these projects, SDG&E will remain at the forefront of helping the state achieve its bold clean-energy and carbon-emission targets.”

The CPUC has set targets for investor-owned utilities to procure large amounts of energy storage by 2020, including 165 MW by SDG&E. With these five new projects, SDG&E says it is on track to meet this goal. The new facilities are expected to come online between December 2019 and late 2021.

The utility notes that the proposed demand response program, to be run by OhmConnect, will also add flexibility to the system. Beginning in early 2018, OhmConnect will request industrial and commercial customers who have enrolled in the demand response program to reduce energy usage within 20 minutes of being called during certain days and hours. This process will be conducted by the California Independent System Operator and/or SDG&E as needed.

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