- San Diego Gas & Electric yesterday announced energy storage and efficiency investments in the city, aiming to help reduce usage, control customer bills and keep the lights on for several hours in the event of a power outage.
- The utility announced it signed a contract with Hecate Energy Bancroft LLC for a 20-MW energy storage facility capable of powering 28,000 homes for up to four hours.
- The other half of the utility's announcement is an 18.5 MW efficiency program it will run with Willdan Energy Solution, which aims to help control usage in local buildings related to heating and air conditioning, refrigeration, lighting and other commercial features.
- Approval of the storage facility would put SDG&E "well ahead" of its state-set energy storage procurement goals, the utility said.
Both contracts announced this week will need approval from the California Public Utilities Commission, but SDG&E said its projects aim to give customers more control over costs, will help integrate renewables and address state mandates for energy storage.
"These projects will help us expand the use of energy conservation technologies in many new locations in the community," SDG&E's Chief Energy Supply Officer, Scott Drury, said in a statement. "Furthermore, SDG&E is proud to launch an advanced energy storage facility to harness solar, wind and other sources of energy so that we can supply it to our customers when they need it most."
SDG&E said its lithium ion storage facility would be "the largest of its kind in the San Diego region," and will support delivery of more renewable energy and other sustainable services. Along with other utility efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, like expanding electric vehicle use, the utility said it is working to quickly modernize and upgrade its grid.
"Our customers want clean, reliable and affordable energy and these technologies are part of our efforts to make smart investments that deliver these core benefits," Drury said.
The 20 MW battery project will be owned by Hecate and will supply energy under a 20-year power purchase agreement to SDG&E. The facility is expected to be completed by 2019. The energy efficiency projects will be delivered by Willdan, and the contract will result in energy and capacity savings totaling 18.5 MW by the end of the six-year term, in 2024.
The CPUC set targets for the state's electric utilities to procure large amounts of energy storage by 2020, including 165 MW by SDG&E. "This project brings SDG&E's total completed or in progress energy storage projects to 79 MW and puts the utility well ahead of schedule for meeting California's storage goals," the utility said.