- The newest Southern California Edison (SCE) request for offers (RFO) makes energy storage an "eligible preferred resource" as it seeks to add 100 MW of distributed energy resources (DERs) to its Preferred Resources Pilot (PRP) in Orange County.
- The RFO seeks renewable distributed generation, demand response, energy storage, and renewable generation linked with energy storage to add to the PRP for capacity and load reduction in 2018.
- SCE also recently announced 16.3 MW of new storage purchases. One 1.3 MW facility will be combined with a gas peaker plant, and a 15 MW project will be distribution-connected battery storage.
SCE is one of the most aggressive utilities in the nation when it comes to deploying energy storage, and its bullish attitude toward the technology showed again this week.
Making storage an "eligible preferred resource" means it will be able to take part in the utility's Preferreed Resources Pilot program in Orange County, which seeks to determine whether clean energy resources can reliably fill the power needs for the county.
The California Public Utilities Commission asked the state’s investor-owned utilities to include demonstration projects in their formal distribution resource plan (DRP) filings. The pilots were to demonstrate the utilities’ capability to integrate DERs for optimal location benefits, dovetail with smart grid deployment plans, meet minimum cost and cost effectiveness criteria, and meet strict technical requirements associated with high DER penetrations.
SCE’s PRP project demonstrates how an optimal location benefit analysis can facilitate use of multiple DERs at a minimum cost to satisfy area needs. A second pilot demonstrates effective operations at higher DER penetrations with a dedicated dispatch system to manage five circuits at the distribution system level.
The PRP’s Orange County location was “directly affected by the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS)” and will also be affected by California’s planned 2020 closure of water-cooled fossil plants, SCE's filing with regulators stated.
It is a real-world test of how “cleaner-energy resources can help maintain or improve electric service reliability in a densely populated area,” according to PRP Director Caroline McAndrews.