SDG&E to build two new rate-based energy storage projects

Written By: Stratton Report
August 18, 2016

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On August 18, SDG&E announced that the California PUC approved its proposal to build two new energy storage projects in San Diego County. This was a follow-up from May, when the CPUC directed Southern California electric utilities to fast-track additional energy storage options to enhance regional energy reliability.

Per SDG&E, the utility proposes to charge the batteries during times when there is an abundance of solar or wind power and discharge them during the peak usage time in the early evening.

James P. Avery, SDG&E’s chief development officer remarked: “We were in the process of a competitive solicitation for energy storage and already had completed a pre-evaluation of respondents. As a result, we could move quickly to respond to the CPUC’s request for expedited proposals.”

Andrés Gluski, AES President and Chief Executive Officer commented:

“We are excited that SDG&E has selected AES’ Advancion energy storage solution to help meet peak demand and ensure the reliability of the electric grid in Southern California. AES recently made Advancion available to utilities, developers and commercial customers interested in owning our innovative and scalable solution, and SDG&E’s selection of Advancion highlights the significant growth potential we see for our energy storage business.”

In mid-July, SDG&E signed an agreement with AES for a total of 37.5-MWs of lithium-ion battery storage.

SDG&E will own the storage projects that AES will build on utility-owned property in Escondido and El Cajon. The larger of the two will be a 30-MW unit and the smaller will be a 7.5-MW unit.

Construction will begin immediately and should be completed in early 2017.
According to SDG&E, the CPUC has required the utility to procure a total of 165 MW of energy storage by 2020, to be operational by 2024.