Energy Storage

Calif. utility unveils contracts totaling 770 MW of new energy storage capacity

Southern California Edison (SCE) recently announced that it has signed seven contracts totaling 770 megawatts of battery-based energy storage resources to help enhance the regions’ electric system reliability needs.

A recently conducted solicitation and the resulting contracts make up one of the country’s largest energy storage procurements.

The projects are expected to enhance grid reliability and help address potential energy deficits identified in California. The projects will assist in integrating renewable clean energy into the grid from intermittent wind and solar resources, while also helping California transition its energy profile as several large coastal once-through cooling plants are expected to retire over the next three years.

Most of the projects selected are co-located since the battery project will use an adjacent solar power plant to charge the battery over the term of the contract. These projects will be located at the same point of interconnection, making it the first of their kind on California’s grid, according to the investor-owned utility.

In 2019, the California Public Utilities Commission identified potential reliability issues in the state’s electric supply. An analysis revealed that the retirement of aging natural gas plants, the increasing levels of solar and wind energy that need to be integrated into the system, and shifts in peak time power use would all contribute to potential issues on the system.

To solve these possible issues, the commission authorized utilities and other load-serving entities to procure additional new clean energy resources to meet those needs and keep California on track to meet ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets by 2030.

The selected contracts will require CPUC approval.