SAN DIEGO – As part of its commitment to help bolster summer grid reliability and advance California’s 100% clean energy goal, San Diego Gas & Electric has completed two additional utility-owned energy storage facilities totaling 171 megawatts (MW), which is enough to power almost 130,000 homes for four hours.
The 131MW Westside Canal project located in Imperial Valley – home to a high concentration of solar, wind and geothermal generation facilities – is the largest storage asset in SDG&E’s utility-owned energy storage portfolio; the 40MW Fallbrook project, located in Northern San Diego County, is the second largest in its portfolio.
SDG&E’s energy storage portfolio is expected to reach 345MW of power capacity by the end of the year, sufficient to meet over 15% of its customers’ load on a typical day and 7% on a system peak day. These energy storage assets participate in the energy markets managed by the California Independent System Operator, allowing CAISO to store and dispatch clean energy from the facilities to meet electricity demand as needed.
“The beauty of energy storage is it can help California solve two problems simultaneously. It can soak up surplus renewable energy during the day, so solar and wind farms don’t have to cut off production when demand on the grid is low,” said SDG&E’s Vice President of Energy Innovation Miguel Romero. “By extending the availability of clean energy to peak evening hours, energy storage can also help California achieve its clean energy goals by reducing reliance on conventional power plants to meet peak electricity demand.”
In recent years, as wind and solar generation capacity has soared in California, renewable generation facilities have had to increasingly curtail, or scale back, energy production to keep the grid balanced. At times, California has had to pay neighboring states to take its oversupply of solar energy in order to avoid overloading the grid.
California has also experienced repeated grid emergencies during record heat waves, which pushed the grid to the brink due to energy demand exceeding supply.
“With our state experiencing more frequent climate extremes such as record heat waves and droughts, it is essential to invest in innovations like energy storage to make sure we can continue to power the world’s fourth largest economy reliably,” said CAISO President and CEO Elliot Mainzer. “The rapid growth of energy storage in California in recent years gives me optimism about our state’s future and its capacity to respond to climate change.”
Westside Canal consists of more than 800 cubes of stacked lithium-ion batteries which stretch across roughly 16 acres of land. It began commercial operation in June.
Like Westside Canal, the Fallbrook energy storage project is also made up of stacks of lithium-ion batteries tightly packed inside metal cubes. The Fallbrook project began commercial operation in May.
Both facilities are equipped with safety features, remote monitoring and automation technologies. When smoke or other anomalies are detected, the units will automatically shut down.
The completion of these projects follows two other utility-owned storage projects SDG&E has brought online in recent years. The company finished the Top Gun Energy Storage Facility (30MW) in the Miramar area of San Diego in 2021 and the Kearny Energy Storage Facility (20MW) in the Kearny Mesa area of San Diego in 2022.
This press release contains statements that constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are based on assumptions with respect to the future, involve risks and uncertainties, and are not guarantees. Future results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement.
These forward-looking statements represent our estimates and assumptions only as of the date of this press release. We assume no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Submitted by San Diego Gas & Electric.