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SDG&E - Renewable Future


Last updated 4/20/2016 at 9:59am

SDG&E is ahead of schedule to meet the state’s original renewable portfolio standard target of 33% renewables by 2020 set in 2011. According to a PUC report, the utility hit 36.4% as of first-quarter 2016 and to help keep them on target, the utility giant signed its largest power purchase agreement to date for an electro-chemical energy storage facility last month.

“We are ahead of the curve, so we have the opportunity to take a longer look ahead at ways to manage the system and change customer behavior," said Stephanie Donovan, senior communications manager at SDG&E. They are also on the way to meeting the state’s new RPS target of 50% renewable by 2030, set in 2015, with 43.1% under contract for 2020.

SDG&E will buy capacity from a 20-MW lithium-ion battery facility being built, operated and owned, by Hecate Energy, in Spring Valley, San Diego County. The facility is due to be completed late in 2018 and be in service by the beginning of 2019.

Charging and discharging of the batteries will be determined by energy pricing. When the price of energy is low, when there is over supply or congestion on the power grid, the battery will be charged. When the price is high, it will be discharged. “If we charge the battery when there’s a glut of power and electricity is cheaper, we not only help to ease congestion on the power grid, we also save a lot of money for our customers,” Donovan said.

SDG&E also announced an 18.5-MW energy efficiency program it will run with Willdan Energy Solutions. The program has a six-year term, running to 2024, and will help control usage in local buildings related to heating and air conditioning, refrigeration, lighting and other commercial features.

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