SDG&E is helping to shape an equitable and sustainable future by investing in new technologies and programs that help strengthen our region’s climate resilience. In our 2021 Sustainability Strategy Update, we share some of the exciting innovations we are implementing and piloting to move our region, state and world closer to net zero greenhouse gas emissions and transform the grid into a catalyst for clean energy.
Innovating Energy Storage
Energy storage plays a key role in helping California move closer toward its goal of 100% renewable energy. Over the past decade, SDG&E has integrated a growing and diverse portfolio of energy storage assets to support grid reliability and operational flexibility, and also maximize our state’s abundant solar resources. In June, SDG&E commissioned Top Gun, a 30 MW lithium-ion energy storage facility that can provide backup power to about 20,000 residential customers for four hours. We also acquired three new mobile batteries, which can be deployed to provide backup power during emergencies, including Public Safety Power Shutoffs. Additionally, as part of Borrego Springs hydrogen pilot project, SDG&E will leverage the abundant solar energy on the local circuit to produce green hydrogen, which can be stored as energy for longer periods.
Developing A Virtual Power Plant
During periods when electricity supplies are tight, a Virtual Power Plant or VPP can help alleviate strain on the grid. VPPs leverage customer-owned distributed energy resources, like rooftop solar or energy storage, for distribution-level demand response, helping to reduce GHG emissions and enhance grid resiliency. The plan is to pilot a VPP in Shelter Valley in eastern San Diego County in 2022 (three years ahead of our original goal), where we are also building a microgrid.
Transportation is the largest contributor of GHG emissions in California and our region. That is why SDG&E is scaling up the regional charging infrastructure to support the transition of vehicles large and small, including trucks, school buses, transit buses and forklifts, to zero-emission fuel. To date, we have built about 3,260 chargers and we expect to add thousands more in the coming years. We also know that we can’t do this important work alone, so we helped launch the Accelerate to Zero (A2Z) collaborative. This diverse group of 13 regional stakeholders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors will develop a unified regional EV strategy to support all San Diegans in making the switch to electric vehicles. SDG&E is also piloting new Vehicle-to-Grid technology that will enable six school buses in Cajon Valley to serve as energy storage, soaking up energy when the sun is out and discharging power back to the grid at night.
Learn about these initiatives and others at sdge.com/sustainability.