SDG&E to Build Four Microgrids With Energy Storage In San Diego

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) received approval from the California Public Utilities Commission to build four additional microgrids, which will add a total of approximately 39 megawatts (MW) / 180 megawatt-hours (MWh) of storage capacity at four company substations. 

SDG&E, a subsidiary of Sempra utilities, is an innovative San Diego-based energy company that provides clean, safe, and reliable energy to the people it serves in San Diego and southern Orange counties. As sustainability is the common goal of many countries, SDG&E intends to create a sustainable future by providing its electricity from renewable sources. They also plan to modernize energy infrastructure, accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles, support numerous non-profit partners, and invest in innovative technologies to ensure the reliable operation of the region’s infrastructure for generations to come. 

Last Summer, the governor of San Diego, Gov Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency, outlining California’s energy needs in the face of growing climate challenges. Aside from the microgrid projects, SDG&E also opened the Top Gun facility in June 2021, and the Kearny Energy Storage facility in March 2022. Each facility has a capacity of 30MW and 20MW respectively. 

Building these microgrids will contribute to meeting San Diego’s high energy demand, particularly on hot summer days and in the peak evening hours after solar power dissipates. They will operate either in conjunction with the larger regional grid or independently to keep critical community facilities powered during unexpected outages. 

SDG&E will install battery storage at its Clairemont, Boulevard, Paradise, and Elliott substations. 

How does battery storage work?

Battery storage works by capturing and storing renewable resources like wind and solar when they are abundant during the day. The microgrid then receives the stored energy when needed. As with other SDG&E-owned storage projects, these facilities will be connected to the state energy market so that the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) can dispatch these resources as needed to balance energy supply and demand throughout the state.

The Clairemont substation microgrid will power the Balboa Branch Library/Cool Zone, Fire Station 36, and local schools such as Lafayette Elementary and Sequoia Elementary Schools, Innovation and CPMA Middle Schools, and Madison High School.

The Boulevard substation microgrid will power the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, Fire Station 47, Campo Reservation Fire Station, Cal Fire White Star Station, Campo Tribal Office, Campo Kumeyaay Nation Medical Center, Southern Indian Health Council Campo Clinic, the Boulevard Border Patrol Station, and the Boulevard Post Office. The Paradise substation microgrid will power Fire Stations 51 and 32, the Southeast Division Police Department, and Bell Middle School, as well as Freese, Boone, and Fulton Elementary. Lastly, the Elliott substation microgrid will have the ability to power Fire Station 39, the Tierrasanta Public Library/Cool Zone, Tierrasanta Medical Center, Jean Farb Middle School, Canyon Hills High School, and Tierrasanta and Kumeyaay Elementary Schools.

The Vice President of SDG&E, Miguel Romero said, ‘These clean energy projects will help our region become more resilient to the impacts of our worsening climate. They will dispatch clean energy to the grid when needed and keep critical facilities like schools, Cool Zones, and fire stations powered during emergencies.’


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