Energy Storage, Demand Response, Energy Efficiency Big Winners in California RFP

Nov. 6, 2014
Southern California Edison selected five times the amount of energy storage required under state rules from a solicitation for long-term capacity.

Energy storage, demand response and energy efficiency were big winners this week in a solicitation issued by Southern California Edison to secure long-term capacity contracts.

The utility chose more than 500-MW of clean energy to help replace the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and retiring natural gas plants. The winners were announced November 5.

In all, the utility selected 69 clean energy projects, what California calls preferred resources, through the request for proposals.

Energy efficiency, alone, accounted for more 30 of the projects, about  135 MW.

Energy storage accounted for 261 MW, five times more than is required under a California mandate. This marks the first time SCE has secured energy storage through a competitive solicitation.

“This is a monumental decision – arrived at after a team of SCE experts studied more than 1,800 offers for various storage solutions, as well as other preferred resources and traditional generation,” said Janice Lin, executive director of the California Energy Storage Alliance. “The fact that SCE far exceeded the minimum amount of energy storage they were ordered to purchase after comparing multiple solutions head to head, demonstrates that energy storage can be competitive with other preferred resources on both performance and value, and that it’s now an integral part of the utility planning tool kit in California.”

The new energy storage projects will add to the 112 already operating in California, according the Department of Energy’s Global Energy Storage Database.

The preferred resources represent almost a quarter of the total 2, 221 MW the utility secured through the solicitation.  The bulk of the capacity will come from combined cycle and peaking natural gas-fired plants.

“This solicitation is the first time that such a wide range of new diverse resources were directly competing in the purchasing process,” said Colin Cushnie, SCE vice president, energy procurement & management. “No single energy source can give us everything we need all of the time, particularly with our emphasis to use environmentally clean resources. To provide for flexibility, we need to accommodate a mix of energy resources.”

The companies that won the preferred resource contracts are: AES, NRG, Onsite Energy, Sterling Analytics, SunPower, Ice Energy Holdings, Advanced Microgrid Solutions and Stem.

The contracts require approval from the  California Public Utilities Commission.

“Using energy more wisely, improving energy diversity and increasing flexibility are the keys to maintaining and improving the reliability of Southern California’s grid while incorporating renewables and new technologies,” said Cushnie. “These projects will provide energy solutions to meet the reliability and affordability needs of electricity customers.”

The full list of  contract winners is below.

NRG Energy Efficiency 102.5 8
Onsite Energy Corporation Energy Efficiency 11.0 11
Sterling Analytics LLC Energy Efficiency 16.7 7
NRG Demand Response 75.0 7
SunPower Corp. Behind-the-Meter Renewable 44.0 4
Ice Energy Holdings, Inc. Behind-the-Meter Thermal Energy Storage 25.6 16
Advanced Microgrid Solutions Behind-the-Meter Battery Energy Storage 50.0 4
Stem Behind-the-Meter Battery Energy Storage 85.0 2
AES In-Front-of-Meter Battery Energy Storage 100.0 1
AES Combined Cycle Gas Fired Generation 1284.0 2
Stanton Energy Reliability Center Peaking Gas Fired Generation 98.0 1
TOTAL: 1891.8 63


Seller Resource Type MWs Number of Contracts
Onsite Energy Corporation Energy Efficiency 6.0 6
SunPower Corp. Behind-the-Meter Renewable 6.0 2
NRG Energy, Inc. In-Front-of-Meter Battery Energy Storage 0.5 1
NRG Energy, Inc. Peaking Gas Fired Generation 316.0 2
About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

“For an especially readable voice in the industry, the most consistent interpreter across these years has been the energy journalist Elisa Wood, whose Microgrid Knowledge (and conference) has aggregated more stories better than any other feed of its time,” wrote Malcolm McCullough, in the book, Downtime on the Microgrid, published by MIT Press in 2020.

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