December 10, 2020: Southern California Edison, the second largest utility in the US, has added another 590MW of battery energy storage capacity to its portfolio ‘to further enhance the region’s electric system reliability needs’, the utility said on December 7.
All of the batteries are lithium-ion and include three utility-scale projects plus one 5MW behind-the-meter pilot system.
It brings the state’s total of storage capacity planned to come online by 2023 to more than 3GW — which will almost double its existing operational capacity of 4.3GW (according to figures from the University of Michigan’s Center for Sustainable Systems).
Of that figure, just over 2GW will be battery storage, which includes the 770MW/3GWh procured by the utility in May.
“Bringing more utility-scale battery storage resources online will improve the reliability of the grid and further the integration of renewable generation resources, like wind and solar, into the grid,” said William Walsh, SCE vice president of energy procurement and management.
The new projects include a 325MW ‘Desert Peak’ project by NextEra Energy; a 200MW project named ‘Crimson’ by Recurrent Energy; a 60MW ‘Eldorado Valley’ project by 174 Power Global/Hanwha Group; and a 5MW behind-the-meter system by Sunrun.
In its Pathway 2045 white paper, published in November 2019, SCE sets out a road map of how to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045.
It emphasizes the need to decarbonize the electricity sector and electrify transport and buildings coupled with energy efficiency, as well as use low-carbon fuels to electrify applications such as industrial and heavy-duty long-range movement of goods.
“In 25 years’ time, three quarters of light-duty vehicles, two thirds of medium-duty vehicles and one third of heavy-duty vehicles will need to be electric,” the white paper says. “And by 2045, almost three quarters of space and water heating will also need to be electric.”
SCE has about five million customer accounts, it says, in a 50,000 square mile (80,500 square kilometre) area.