San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has added 20-megawatts of energy storage and 18.5 MW of energy efficiency projects that will allow the California utility to supply more renewable energy to its customers and help them reduce energy usage in commercial buildings.
The 20-MW lithium ion battery project — the largest of its kind in the San Diego region — will be owned by Hecate Energy Bancroft and supply energy under a 20-year power purchase agreement to SDG&E. The project will store supplies of solar, wind and other clean power sources when they are abundant and inexpensive, and release that energy during peak hours when customer demand is high.
The companies expect the facility to be completed by 2019.
The company also signed a contract with Willdan Energy Solutions for energy efficiency projects totaling 18.5 MW by the end of the six-year term, in 2024. The goal of these projects is to cut energy use related to heating and air conditioning, refrigeration, lighting and other commercial features.
The California Public Utilities Commission has set targets for California’s electric utilities to procure large amounts of energy storage by 2020, including 165 MW by SDG&E. This latest li-ion battery project brings SDG&E’s total completed or in progress energy storage projects to 79 MW — SDG&E says this puts it ahead of schedule for meeting its storage goals.
SDG&E’s announcement comes just days after other power companies including Calpine, National Grid, Pacific Gas & Electric, and Southern California Edison submitted briefs in support of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. SDG&E’s parent company Sempra Energy wasn’t a party to the Clean Power Plan brief.
The parent company has set a goal to decrease its CO2 emissions rate by at least 10 percent by 2016 compared to a 2010 baseline (as of 2014 it had decreased emissions by 5 percent).
SDG&E beat its initial goal to provide an average of 25 percent of customers’ electricity from renewable sources of energy by 2016 two years early. At the end of 2014, it provided 31.9 percent from renewable sources of energy. It has set a new goal to provide 33 percent by 2020.
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