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More four-hour battery projects approved in SDG&E’s California territory

California’s main utilities are bound by mandate policy AB2514 to deploy storage, while utility long-term planning in the state considers the technology against other options. Image: SDG&E.

California investor-owned utility (IOU) San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has contracted companies including RES, AMS and Enel Green Power to execute five energy storage projects totalling 85MW / 334MWh in its service area.

One of the state’s three IOUs, SDG&E is bound by AB2514, California’s mandate for the utilities to deploy 1.35GW of energy storage by 2020. SDG&E said it is aiming to deploy 330MW itself by 2030, while utilities in California are now expected to consider energy storage as a competing resource for providing capacity to the grid. This has left them pitted directly against natural gas peaker plants, in many instances. AB2514 and other policies have put California's utilities in a leading position for energy storage deployment, as found by trade group SEPA recently.

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The five projects will all be lithium-ion battery based and are joined by a 4.5MW demand response contract awarded to OhmConnect, which also provides demand response in the service areas of the two other California IOUs, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE).

All of the latest energy storage and demand response contracts have been approved by the regulator, California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). SDG&E said they will all “improve grid reliability and integrate more renewables, creating a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable future”. The projects will be located in San Diego and in the south of Orange County.

With four hours of energy storage duration, each lithium battery system will be able to charge from renewable energy at times of abundant production, for dispatch into the network when demand peaks. 

San Diego City Mayor Kevin Faulconer took to social media platform Twitter to applaud SDG&E, stating that he wanted to “thank SDG&E for bringing more clean energy resources to San Diego. “With these new battery storage facilities, we will continue our collective journey toward a cleaner and greener San Diego,” Faulconer wrote.

In March, SDG&E also said it was seeking “up to 166MW” of energy storage to add resilience and backup capabilities to public sector buildings.

The awarded battery storage projects and winning companies are as follows:

RES (Renewable Energy Systems) America San Diego 30MW / 120MWh December 2019
AMS (Advanced Microgrid Solutions) San Juan Capistrano 4MW / 16MWh December 2019
Fluence (Siemens-AES joint venture) Fallbrook 40MW / 160MWh March 2021
Powin Energy Escondido 6.5MW / 26MWh June 2021
Enel Green Power Poway 3MW / 12MWh December 2021

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