San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) recently announced that it has signed contracts for five new local battery storage facilities for a total of 83.5 megawatts (MW). These four-hour energy storage facilities would be like having batteries from more than 5,500 all-electric, long-range vehicles at the ready. In addition, the company signed a contract to add a 4.5 MW demand response program. SDG&E has submitted all six contracts to the California Public Utilities Commission 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 MWs of deployments in Escondido and El Cajon. A 30-MW facility will be built in Miramar by Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. (RES). The other storage projects totaling 13.5 MW will be owned by third parties including Powin Energy, Enel through its U.S. subsidiary Enel Green Power North America, and Advanced Microgrid Solutions and constructed in Escondido, Poway and San Juan Capistrano.
'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,' said 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.'
All five of the battery projects can store supplies of solar, wind and other traditional sources and release it when energy is in high demand.
The California Public Utilities Commission (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 is on track to meet this goal. The new facilities are expected to come on line between December 2019 and late 2021.
The demand response program 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.