Making for a Stronger San Diego: Gridscape Launching Solar-Storage Backup to Fortify Municipal Sites

July 11, 2023
The eight San Diego microgrids being deployed by Gridscape provide a variety of services, from backup power during shutoff events to increased emergency capability for neighborhoods, EV charging stations and more. Shell New Energies will own the sites.

One of the nation’s biggest cities for microgrid deployment is celebrating the launch of a multitude of new decentralized on-site power projects all across the vast municipal boundary.

San Diego is working with renewable energy developer Gridscape Solutions on the installation of eight new microgrids. Gridscape held a launch event this past week in the Southcrest area to celebrate the series of new distributed energy resources in the near future.

“The event in Southcrest was nothing short of extraordinary,” Gridscape enthused about the groundbreaking on its LinkedIn page. “We were surrounded by enthusiastic community members, industry experts, and local leaders who came together to embrace the power of microgrids.

"This decentralized approach will not only enhance energy resilience but also contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions and minimizes environmental impact," the company added.

The eight San Diego microgrids being deployed by Gridscape provide a variety of services, from backup power during shutoff events to increased emergency capability for neighborhoods, EV charging stations and more, the company says. It also could help customers avoid more than $420,000 in energy costs annually, according to the report.

All of the solar emergency microgrids being installed in the San Diego projects are being financed and owned by Shell New Energies. The eight sites will include three recreation centers, two fire stations and three police stations.

Specifically those sites include Fire Station 19 and 29, Mid-City, Northeastern and Southeastern Police Stations, and the Cesar Chavez, Southcrest and Dolores Magdaleno Memorial recreation centers.

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Gridscape says the projects will consist of 960 kW of solar PV systems in various rooftop and carport configurations, 2.175-MWh of battery energy storage assets and 12 EV charging stations.

“We are honored to have been a part of this remarkable project and to support the city in its journey towards a more resilient and greener future,” the company said on LinkedIn in highlighting the Southcrest launch event. “We firmly believe that together, we can create a brighter, more sustainable tomorrow.”

The city and Gridscape predict the microgrids will also offset more than 2,100 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.

Microgrids already loom large across the scenic San Diego landscape, from the University of California at San Diego campus to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton near Oceanside. Utility provider San Diego Gas & Electric also is contracting to deploy solar-storage microgrids within the city.

The San Diego municipal microgrids were first approved by city councilors two years ago.

About the Author

Rod Walton, Managing Editor | Managing Editor

For Microgrid Knowledge editorial inquiries, please contact Managing Editor Rod Walton at [email protected].

I’ve spent the last 15 years covering the energy industry as a newspaper and trade journalist. I was an energy writer and business editor at the Tulsa World before moving to business-to-business media at PennWell Publishing, which later became Clarion Events, where I covered the electric power industry. I joined Endeavor Business Media in November 2021 to help launch EnergyTech, one of the company’s newest media brands. I joined Microgrid Knowledge in July 2023. 

I earned my Bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. My career stops include the Moore American, Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, Wagoner Tribune and Tulsa World, all in Oklahoma . I have been married to Laura for the past 33-plus years and we have four children and one adorable granddaughter. We want the energy transition to make their lives better in the future. 

Microgrid Knowledge and EnergyTech are focused on the mission critical and large-scale energy users and their sustainability and resiliency goals. These include the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as the military, universities, data centers and microgrids. The C&I sectors together account for close to 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

Many large-scale energy users such as Fortune 500 companies, and mission-critical users such as military bases, universities, healthcare facilities, public safety and data centers, shifting their energy priorities to reach net-zero carbon goals within the coming decades. These include plans for renewable energy power purchase agreements, but also on-site resiliency projects such as microgrids, combined heat and power, rooftop solar, energy storage, digitalization and building efficiency upgrades.

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