Leading up to summer, several teams across our company have been busy preparing to help ensure the electric grid can reliably meet rising electricity demand in hot summer months, as more people turn on their air conditioners to stay cool.
Every year, we plan for the summer by investing in infrastructure improvements and energy conservation incentive programs to enhance the reliability and resiliency of our electric system. Over the past two years, SDG&E has been working diligently to secure additional energy resources and has grown our contracted and owned energy storage portfolio by more than 260MW. With the additional projects under development or pending approval by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), we expect our storage capacity to more than double by the end of 2023.
Meanwhile, we have also implemented new energy conservation incentive programs and are helping to augment the California Independent System Operator’s (CAISO) Flex Alert awareness efforts to prepare our customers for the summer.
From an electric supply perspective, our region is well-positioned to meet customer demand with a mix of locally generated electricity and imported electricity. The Palomar Energy Center in Escondido was upgraded last year, expanding its electric generation capacity by 23MW.
While SDG&E has done our part to prepare for summer, it is important to understand that California’s electric transmission system is interconnected statewide and with other Western states. What happens elsewhere in California or elsewhere in the West can impact electric service in San Diego and vice versa. Because of the interdependency of California’s electric grid, energy providers and consumers across the state have all been asked to do their part to help. SDG&E has been working closely with state agencies, including the CPUC and the CAISO, to address potential resource shortages.
Power Saver Rewards Program
Should the grid become strained due to high demand, we have a variety of conservation incentive programs to encourage customers to reduce their energy use during peak demand hours of 4-9 p.m.
Under the new Power Saver Rewards Program in effect through October, residential customers have the opportunity to be compensated for cutting back on their energy use during times of grid stress, when CAISO calls a Flex Alert or Energy Emergency Alert Watch. If participating customers can reduce their energy use below their typical use when a Power Saver Rewards event is called, when the grid is especially stressed, customers will receive a bill credit of $2.00/kWh on their next energy bill that includes the date that the event took place.
To learn more about Power Saver Rewards and enroll in the program, please visit sdge.com/powersaver.
State Energy Outlook is Positive
According to CAISO, forecasted energy supply conditions for this summer represent an improvement from last year, largely because more than 4,000 MW of capacity was added between June 2021 and 2022.
We will continue to remain closely coordinated with the CAISO to keep our customers prepared and informed.