SAN DIEGO, CA – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has completed the establishment of two additional utility-owned energy storage facilities totalling 171 megawatts, enough to power nearly 130,000 homes for four hours.
The utility said the project is part of its commitment to help bolster grid reliability during the summer and further California’s goal of 100% clean energy.
The 131-megawatt Westside Canal project located in Imperial Valley (which has a high concentration of solar, wind and geothermal generation facilities) is SDG&E’s largest owned storage asset.
According to SDG&E, the 40 megawatt Fallbrook project, located in northern San Diego County, is the second largest. The energy storage portfolio is expected to grow to 345 megawatts of energy capacity by the end of the year, which is enough to meet more than 15% of its customers’ load on a typical day and 7% on a system peak day.
These energy storage facilities participate in the energy markets managed by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), allowing CAISO to store and dispatch clean energy from the facilities to meet electricity demand as needed.
“The great thing about energy storage is that it can help California solve two problems at the same time – it can absorb excess renewable energy during the day, so solar and wind farms don’t have to interrupt production when demand on the grid is low,” said SDG&E Vice President of Energy Innovation Miguel Romero.
In recent years, as wind and solar generation capacity has soared in California, renewable generation facilities have had to increasingly limit or curtail power production to keep the grid balanced.
SDG&E noted that in recent years, California has also experienced repeated grid emergencies during record heat waves, which pushed the grid to the limit as power demand outstripped supply.
Westside Canal consists of more than 800 stacked lithium-ion battery cubes stretching across approximately 16 acres of land. It entered commercial operation in June. Like Westside Canal, the Fallbrook energy storage project also consists of lithium-ion battery cells packed tightly inside metal cubes. The Fallbrook project began commercial operation in May. Both facilities are equipped with security features, remote monitoring and automation technologies.