Clean Energy Week: Helping Advance a Net-Zero Future Through Energy Storage with Jay Bick

Clean Energy Week: Helping Advance a Net-Zero Future Through Energy Storage with Jay Bick

In recognition of National Clean Energy Week, we are proud to highlight Jay Bick, our Advanced Clean Energy Innovation Manager.

Growing up in Rochester, in the Western New York area, Jay Bick was an active child and always had a curious mind, intrigued by how things worked. As he grew older and entered high school, he began nurturing bigger dreams and envisioned a future in the field of renewable energy, driven by a desire to make a positive impact in combating climate change.

His fascination with the power of moving water and a keen interest in hydroelectric power set him on a path to pursue a degree in engineering at Arizona State University. During his time there, he engaged in a climate change senior thesis that solidified his passion for clean energy. Soon after graduation, he joined us as an engineering intern, where he made an immediate impact.

Today, Jay is the Advanced Clean Energy Innovation Manager here at SDG&E, where he oversees some of the company's most significant energy storage projects. These projects play a crucial role in strengthening grid reliability and meeting the energy needs of 3.7 million residents in the region.

Jay has been instrumental in our efforts to expand our renewable energy generation portfolio and infrastructure. He began his career here in Energy Distribution Engineering and later transitioned to the Distribution Planning group with which he served for four years. In 2017, he then moved to the Distributed Energy Resources group, which eventually evolved into the Advanced Clean Technology Department, allowing him to develop his expertise in generation development and energy storage.

Sharing a Sense of Purpose

Jay and his team have a shared sense of purpose and foster a highly rewarding and motivating work environment.

“In this group, we feel like we are working on projects that are fulfilling a societal need,” he said. “I truly think our group feels the sense of urgency to deliver successful energy storage projects to prevent potential regional generation shortfalls, and to enable the energy transition to cleaner less carbon intensive generation. This gives our work meaning and makes it easier for us to have fun and enjoy the work we do.”

Recently, Jay led his team in the successful completion of the Westside Canal energy storage facility in Imperial Valley. This impressive facility boasts 131 megawatts of capacity and is the largest asset in our utility-owned energy storage portfolio. Despite the project's challenging timeline, Jay and his team oversaw the engineering, construction and commissioning of the energy storage system in under 18 months.

"Jay is an outstanding engineer and has made significant contributions to the company,” said Fernando Valero, Director of Advanced Clean Technology. “He has led multiple projects that have been key in fortifying our grid's resilience and helped solidify SDG&E's status as a trailblazer in our industry's innovation landscape. We are very fortunate to have him as a member of our team." 

The Westside Canal project began commercial operation in June, before the start of summer, marking a significant milestone in SDG&E’s efforts to meet the community’s energy needs with a growing number of renewables, while also improving grid reliability.

Outside of Work

Aside from his professional achievements, Jay is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys a variety of sports. When he's not playing volleyball, you can find him catching waves in some of his favorite surfing spots like Black’s Beach or Windansea. He resides in Serra Mesa with his wife Jordan, and they are excitedly anticipating the arrival of their first child this holiday season.

Jay’s journey from a curious kid to an accomplished leader in the advanced clean technology sector is a testament to his passion, dedication, and commitment to creating a sustainable future for generations to come.

Clean Energy Week: Helping Advance a Net-Zero Future Through Energy Storage with Jay Bick