Four microgrids equipped with energy storage will be added to the San Diego region to help the state meet high energy demand, particularly on hot summer days and in the peak evening hours after solar power dissipates. These small-scale grids that can operate independent of or parallel to the larger regional grid will also help keep critical community facilities powered during unexpected outages.
San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) received approval yesterday from the California Public Utilities Commission to build these projects, which will add a total of approximately 39 megawatts (MW) / 180 megawatt-hours (MWh) of storage capacity at four company substations.
“These clean energy projects will help our region become more resilient to the impacts of our worsening climate,” said SDG&E Vice President of Energy Innovation Miguel Romero. “They will dispatch clean energy to the grid when needed and keep critical facilities like schools, Cool Zones, and fire stations powered during emergencies.”
The projects stemmed from Gov. Newsom’s Proclamation of a State Emergency issued last summer, which outlines California’s energy needs in the face of growing climate challenges. The four new projects, slated to be completed in summer 2023, are the latest of a series of energy storage investments by SDG&E, including the opening of Top Gun, a 30 MW facility, in June 2021 and Kearny Energy Storage, a 20 MW facility, in March 2022.
Battery storage works by capturing renewable resources like wind and solar when they are abundant during the day, then sending that energy back to the grid when it is needed. As with other SDG&E owned storage projects, these facilities will be connected to the state energy market so that the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) can dispatch these resources as needed to balance energy supply and demand throughout the state.
Below are brief descriptions of each of the projects.
• The Clairemont substation microgrid will have the ability to power the Balboa Branch Library/Cool Zone, Fire Station 36, and local schools such as Lafayette Elementary and Sequoia Elementary Schools, Innovation and CPMA Middle Schools, and Madison High School
• The Boulevard substation microgrid will have the ability to power the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, Fire Station 47, Campo Reservation Fire Station, Cal Fire White Star Station, Campo Tribal Office, Campo Kumeyaay Nation Medical Center, Southern Indian Health Council Campo Clinic, the Boulevard Border Patrol Station, and the Boulevard Post Office
• The Paradise substation microgrid will have the ability to power Fire Stations 51 and 32, the Southeast Division Police Department, and Bell Middle School, as well as Freese, Boone and Fulton Elementary
• The Elliott substation microgrid will have the ability to power Fire Station 39, the Tierrasanta Public Library/Cool Zone, Tierrasanta Medical Center, Jean Farb Middle School, Canyon Hills High School, and Tierrasanta and Kumeyaay Elementary Schools.