Enel's North American unit signed three capacity storage agreements with California utility Pacific Gas and Electric for a total capacity of 85 MW/340 MWh.
Under the agreements, Enel will build the Kingston, Cascade, and Sierra stand-alone lithium-ion energy storage projects, which will all be located in California.
“The signing of these agreements marks an important step forward in our Group’s plan to strengthen its presence in the energy storage market and expand this business in the US, and California in particular, which are at the forefront in the development of this market,” said Enrico Viale, Head of Enel Global Thermal Generation. “Utility-scale storage applications are a key focus area for Enel in view of the great benefits they offer in terms of grid balancing and reliability. We are proud of the progress we have made in this field so far and look forward to growing our storage portfolio even further.”
The energy storage systems will connect directly to PG&E’s grid and will charge the lithium-ion batteries when there is an abundance of renewable energy. The energy stored in the batteries will then be delivered back to the grid during times of peak demand, increasing grid reliability, while also easing congestion.
The three facilities, all located across Central and Northern California, are the 50 MW/200 MWh Kingston project, the 25 MW/100 MWh Cascade project and the 10 MW/40 MWh Sierra project. The projects are developed with Sovereign Energy Storage, an independent developer of large-scale utility battery energy storage projects, and are expected to be operational by 2023, pending review and approval by the California Public Utility Commission as well as local and regulatory agencies.
The three projects will contribute to the expansion of Enel’s energy storage portfolio, which includes both stand-alone battery storage systems, as well as projects combining storage with both thermal and renewable facilities.
PG&E awarded CSAs to three other projects alongside the three contracts awarded to Enel, for a total capacity of 165 MW. These awards are the result of an open competitive solicitation process run by the utility to procure 580 MW of energy storage capacity by 2020, while contributing to the 2013 California Public Utility Commission state goal of adding 1.3 GW of energy storage by 2024.
The CSAs with PG&E will strengthen Enel’s presence in California’s energy storage market, following the signing of an Energy Storage PPA with the utility San Diego Gas and Electric for the 3 MW/12 MWh Pomerado project located in San Diego County. In the US, in early 2017 Enel also acquired Demand Energy Networks, a leading smart control software provider, project developer, and operator specialized in battery storage optimization. Enel is exploring opportunities to leverage their DEN.OS software platform and capabilities for all future storage development projects. Moreover, this year, Enel started the construction of the 25 MW/12.5 MWh Tynemouth energy storage project in the United Kingdom, and of a 20 MW/11.7 MWh storage system at its Litoral plant in Spain.