San Diego Gas & Electric announced that it has signed a contract with Hecate Energy Bancroft for a new 20 MW energy storage facility that will be capable of storing enough electricity to power 28,000 homes for up to four hours.
The company also contracted for 18.5 MW of energy efficiency projects with Willdan Energy Solutions, with the goal of launching measures to help customers' reduce energy usage in local buildings related to heating and air conditioning, refrigeration, lighting and other commercial features.
The lithium ion battery project would be the largest of its kind in the San Diego region. Building on SDG&E's commitment to create efficiencies and provide clean energy, the storage facility and energy efficiency projects will support the company's leadership position in delivering more renewable energy and bringing other sustainable practices directly into the community. Along with SDG&E solutions for increasing the number of zero-emission vehicles, these efforts help to lower the region's carbon footprint overall.
"These projects will help us expand the use of energy conservation technologies in many new locations in the community," said SDG&E's Chief Energy Supply Officer, Scott Drury. "Furthermore, SDG&E is proud to launch an advanced energy storage facility to harness solar, wind and other sources of energy so that we can supply it to our customers when they need it most."
The project can store supplies of solar, wind and other clean traditional resources when they are abundant and inexpensive, and release that energy during peak hours when customer demand is high.
"SDG&E has been named 'Best in the West' 10 years in a row for providing the most reliable electric service," said Drury. "Our customers want clean, reliable and affordable energy and these technologies are part of our efforts to make smart investments that deliver these core benefits."
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 project brings SDG&E's total completed or in progress energy storage projects to 79 MW and puts the utility well ahead of schedule for meeting California's storage goals.
The 20-MW battery project will be owned by Hecate Energy Bancroft LLC and supply energy under a 20-year power purchase agreement to SDG&E. The facility is expected to be completed by 2019.
The energy efficiency projects will be delivered by Willdan Energy Solutions. The contract will result in energy and capacity savings totaling 18.5 MW by the end of the six-year term, in 2024.
Both contracts must be approved by the CPUC.