SDG&E unveils LI battery energy storage facility in California

Enhancing regional energy reliability while maximizing renewable energy use

© San Diego Gas & Electric

SDG&E has chosen AES Energy’s Advancion energy storage systems © San Diego Gas & Electric

On February 24th, 2017, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E, San Diego, California) showcased a 30 megawatt (MW) lithium-ion battery energy storage facility in partnership with AES Energy Storage, which will enhance regional energy reliability while maximizing renewable energy use. 

The energy storage facility is capable of storing up to 120 megawatt hours of energy, the energy equivalent of serving 20,000 customers for four hours.

Last year, the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) directed Southern California investor-owned electric utilities to fast-track additional energy storage options to enhance regional energy reliability. 

In response, SDG&E expedited ongoing negotiations and contracted with AES Energy Storage to build two projects for a total of 37.5 MW of lithium ion battery energy storage. In addition to the 30 MW facility built in Escondido, Calif., a smaller 7.5 MW installation was built in El Cajon.

The 400,000 batteries, similar to those in electric vehicles, were installed in nearly 20,000 modules and placed in 24 containers. 

The batteries will act like a sponge, soaking up and storing energy when it is abundant – when the sun is shining, the wind is blowing and energy use is low – and releasing it when energy resources are in high demand. 

This will provide reliable energy when customers need it most, and maximize the use of renewable resources such as solar and wind.

"SDG&E is a leader in providing clean, reliable power to their customers, and we're honored that they chose Advancion energy storage to serve their needs," said John Zahurancik, AES Energy Storage president. 

"These two projects, including the world's largest advanced energy storage site, are the latest proof of energy storage's capacity to scale up and solve our most pressing grid issues in a short period."

Energy storage is playing a key role in SDG&E's commitment to delivering clean, safe and reliable energy. By 2030, the company expects to develop or interconnect more than 330 MWs of energy storage on the system.