San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) announced four new microgrids this week, while another eight microgrids, which are being developed for the California city by Gridscape Solutions, moved forward with a construction contract.
The new projects add to a growing list of microgrids in the San Diego area at a range of facilities from military bases to residential communities.
SDG&E, an investor-owned utility that serves 3.7 million people in San Diego and southern Orange counties, said it is adding the four microgrids to help the state meet high summer demand on the grid.
The four utility microgrids will connect to the state energy market so that California’s grid operator can use them to balance energy supply and demand on the grid. They will add about 39 MW/180 MWh of energy storage capacity at four utility substations.
The microgrids also will serve critical community facilities during power outages.
Response to Gov. Newsom’s emergency proclamation
“These clean energy projects will help make our region become more resilient to the impacts of our worsening climate,” said Miguel Romero, the utility’s vice president of energy innovation. “They will dispatch clean energy to the grid when needed and keep critical facilities like schools, Cool Zones and fire stations powered during emergencies.”
SDG&E decided to pursue the microgrids after Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an emergency proclamation for energy last summer. The California Public Utilities Commission approved the projects earlier this week.
Scheduled to be completed in summer 2023, the projects and the critical facilities they will serve are:
- The Clairemont Microgrid: Balboa Branch Library/Cool Zone, Fire Station 36, and local schools such as Lafayette Elementary and Sequoia Elementary, Innovation and CPMA Middle Schools, and Madison High School.
- The Boulevard Microgrid: 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 Microgrid: Fire Stations 51 and 32, the Southeast Division Police Department and Bell Middle School as well as Freese, Boone and Fulton Elementary.
- The Elliott Microgrid: 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.
City microgrids to save money, reduce emissions
In separate news, the City of San Diego via Gridscape Solutions awarded Industria Power a construction contract for eight microgrids.
Shell New Energies US will own and operate the microgrids on behalf of the city for 25 years. Industria Power is the general contractor.
Watch Candice Yu, business development adviser, Shell and Lindsey Hawes, municipal energy program manager, City of San Diego talk about the city’s eight microgrid projects in this video from Microgrid California.
The eight microgrids will provide power during outages to the Delores Magdaleno Memorial Recreation Center, Cesar Chavez Recreation Center/Larsen Field, Southcrest Recreation Center, Fire Station 29, Fire Station 19, Police Station Mid-City, Police Station Southeastern and Police Station Northeastern. In all, the microgrids will provide 930 kW of solar, 2,175 MWh of battery storage and multiple electric vehicle charging stations.
The city expects to save $6 million over 25 years in avoided energy costs by operating the microgrids, which will enable dynamic shifting of the facilities’ energy load by optimizing electricity consumption and demand in response to grid signals and energy pricing.
The microgrids also are designed to help the city reach its goal of eliminating half of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2035.
In addition to these 12 microgrids, San Diego has multiple other significant microgrids under development or in operation. Their locations include Marine Corps’ Air Station Miramar, Borrego Springs, Port of San Diego, Camp Pendleton, UC San Diego and the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) in San Diego.
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