Our region is well-positioned to meet customer demand thanks to new energy storage projects coming online and a mix of locally generated and imported electricity
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, SDG&E plans for the summer by investing in infrastructure improvements and energy conservation incentive programs to enhance the reliability and resiliency of our electric system.
From an electric supply perspective, our region is well-positioned to meet summer demand with a mix of locally generated and imported electricity. Since the summer of 2020, SDG&E has brought more than 530 MW of new capacity online, including almost 500 MWs of energy storage. This includes the recently completed Westside Canal Project (131MW) in Imperial Valley and the Fallbrook Project (40MW) in North San Diego County. These facilities are respectively the largest and second largest battery systems owned and operated by SDG&E. Together, they can power almost 130,000 homes for four hours.
SDG&E’s energy storage portfolio is expected to reach 345 MW of power capacity by the end of the year, sufficient to meet over 15% of our customers’ load on a typical day and 7% on a system peak day. These energy storage assets participate in the energy markets managed by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), allowing CAISO to store and dispatch clean energy from the facilities to meet electricity demand as needed.
Meanwhile, we continue to implement energy conservation incentive programs and are helping to augment the CAISO Flex Alert awareness efforts to prepare our region for the summer.
While SDG&E continues to prepare for summer weather, 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 when the grid is taxed. 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 the peak demand hours of 4-9 p.m.
For the second year in a row, the Power Saver Rewards Program will be in effect through October, providing residential customers with 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, Power Saver Rewards and other demand response programs are activated.
If participating customers can reduce their energy use below their typical use when a Power Saver Rewards day 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 8,000 MW of combined solar and battery capacity will be added to the grid by September 2023. Additionally, with record precipitation this last winter, the state can expect a significant megawatt boost from hydro power plants.
We will continue to remain closely coordinated with CAISO to keep our customers prepared and informed.
Preparedness is a community-wide effort, so be sure to update your contact information and add your mobile phone number to your SDG&E account, via SDGE.com/MyAccount so we can get in touch in case of any grid emergencies.
Tips on how to stay cool while keeping energy costs down are available at sdge.com/myenergy. This dedicated webpage also provides tools for managing energy use and avoiding surprise bills.