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Mitsubishi Power supplying California utility with 180MWh BESS for microgrids


California investor-owned utility (IOU) San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has chosen Mitsubishi Power as supplier of battery storage to four microgrids in its service area.

Mitsubishi Power announced the deal today, in which SDG&E has ordered utility-scale battery energy storage system (BESS) equipment totalling 39MW/180MWh for deployment across the four sites.

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The microgrid BESS projects were given the approval of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in late June and are scheduled to go online in the middle of next year.

They will be connected to the grid in San Diego in the communities of Elliot, Clairemont, Paradise, and Boulevard, and will provide capacity and strengthen grid resiliency, particularly during peak electricity demand periods in summer.

California’s energy system comes under most stress during those summer months and CAISO, the operator of most of the state’s grid network and wholesale electricity market has long emphasised the important role energy storage is starting to play in mitigating the risks to energy supply.

Mitsubishi Power will deploy its Emerald energy storage solution, which includes an integrated plant control consisting of energy management system (EMS) and SCADA which oversee real-time BESS operation and provide a monitoring/supervisory control platform.

“We live in a time when growing threats from climate change and extreme heat waves can increasingly impact grid reliability. By expanding our energy storage portfolio, we are helping our region and critical community facilities become more resilient,” SDG&E’s director of advanced clean technology, Fernando Valero, said.

In March, SDG&E also ordered a 10MW/60MWh system from Mitsubishi Power for the utility’s Pala-Gomez Creek Energy Storage Project, which the technology provider said at the time would be its eighth California battery project.

Meanwhile, other recent energy storage activities for Mitsubishi Power include the company’s entry into the European market with four projects in Ireland adding up to 371MWh of capacity and an order for 425MWh of BESS co-located with solar PV plants in Chile from developer Innergex. Mitsubishi Power is also working on a 300GWh green hydrogen storage project in Utah, US, which will get US$504 million of loan funding from the government Department of Energy towards its cost.

In an interview with in April, Thomas Cornell, Senior VP Energy Storage Solutions at Mitsubishi Power Americas discussed the company’s approach to the energy storage market, including views on technologies, business strategies and how it expects the market to develop in the coming years.

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