May 14, 2020: Southern California Edison, the primary electricity utility for 14 million people in the south of the state, has signed contracts to add up to 770MW/3GWh of battery energy storage in seven installations, it announced on May 1.
Most of the installations will be batteries paired with solar power plants, the utility said, and all the batteries will be lithium-ion.
“Last year, the California Public Utilities Commission identified potential reliability issues in the state’s electric supply,” said SCE. “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 potential issues, the commission authorized the utilities and other load-serving entities to procure additional new clean energy resources to meet those needs and keep California on its present path to meet ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets by 2030.”
Three of the systems will be installed by NextEra Energy, which has installed more than 9,800 turbines in the US with the capacity to generate more than 14GW of power. It is also one of the largest solar energy generators in North America.
NextEra will supply two 115MW/460MWh storage systems at Blythe, and a 230MW/920MWh one at McCoy.
Electricity company Southern Power has been signed up to install a total of 160MW/640MWh storage at Rosamund and Tranquility. On all of these sites, existing solar panels will be co-located with the battery storage systems.
“The co-located project will be built on the sites of existing solar projects and will share the same point of interconnection and interconnection facilities with the solar production facilities,” says Robert Laffoon-Villegas, project manager for corporate communications.
“The solar and storage projects are both under contract with SCE. SCE and the project owner have agreed to work together to ensure that the battery storage device is being charged by the co-located solar facility.”
LS Power has been contracted for a 100MW/400MWh system in San Diego and TerraGen Power will put in 50MW/200MWh at Mojave — but these two battery systems will be charged from the grid.
If approved when SCE submits the contracts for approval, which is expected to be later this month, all projects should come online commercially on January 8, 2021.