Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) has requested approval of five energy storage projects totaling 423 MW, in a filing with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The projects are intended to further integrate clean energy from renewable generation sources while ensuring future reliability of the electric system.
The agreements for the projects are a result of a competitive request for offers (RFO) the PG&E launched in February following a November 2019 CPUC decision that identified potential reliability issues beginning in 2021. The CPUC authorized utilities and other load-serving entities in California to procure resources that would address those potential future system reliability issues while building progress in meeting the state's greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals.
The PG&E was authorized to procure at least 716.9 MW of system reliability resources to come online between August 1, 2021, and August 1, 2023. The five new battery energy storage projects announced recently represent the PG&E's first phase of procuring system reliability resources that need to come online within that timeframe.
"The PG&E is deeply committed to the California vision of a sustainable energy future. As we continue to integrate large amounts of intermittent renewable energy, we are now taking advantage of advancements in energy storage technology to ensure that customers continue to receive clean and reliable power from a flexible and dependable electric grid," said Fong Wan, senior vice president, energy policy and procurement, PG&E.
The PG&E will issue another (phase two) competitive solicitation this summer for resources to come online by August 1, 2022, and August 1, 2023.
The five projects feature lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery energy storage systems (BESS), each with a four-hour discharge duration. The new systems will either be co-located with solar or geothermal plants or be built as part of new energy storage projects. The five projects are as follows:Diablo Energy Storage, LLC: The Diablo Energy Storage project comprises three separate 15-year agreements totaling 150 MW. The three projects will be standalone Li-ion battery energy storage resources located in Contra Costa County. This project is an expansion of a 50-MW energy storage project under contract to the PG&E in Contra Costa County, which is currently in development.
- Dynegy Marketing and Trade, LLC: The Vistra Energy MOSS100 Energy Storage project comprises a 10-year agreement for 100 MW. The project is a standalone Li-ion battery energy storage resource located in Moss Landing, California (Monterey County). This project is an expansion of a 300-MW energy storage project under contract to the PG&E at the same location, which is currently in development.
- Gateway Energy Storage, LLC: The Gateway Energy Storage project comprises a 15-year agreement for a 50-MW standalone Li-ion battery energy storage resource located in San Diego.
- NextEra Energy Resources Development, LLC: The Blythe Energy Storage 110 project comprises a 15-year agreement for 63 MW. The project is a Li-ion battery energy storage resource and is co-located with an existing 110-MW solar project built in 2016, located in Blythe, California (Riverside County).
- Coso Battery Storage, LLC: The Coso Battery Storage project comprises a 15-year agreement for a 60-MW transmission-connected, standalone Li-ion battery energy storage resource and is co-located with an existing geothermal project in Little Lake, California (Inyo County).
Each project is scheduled to be online by August 2021.
Energy storage helps to integrate renewable resources, such as wind and solar, that are intermittent or generate the most energy during times of low customer demand. Energy storage can contribute to grid efficiency and reliability, may reduce the need to build additional fossil fuel generation, and can serve as an alternative to more expensive, traditional wires solutions.
"The PG&E is well positioned with the energy storage projects under contract recently to meet the state's ambitious clean energy and storage goals while ensuring grid reliability, and we will continue to look toward innovation, integration of new technologies, and collaboration to drive a clean energy future," Wan added.
As of May 2020, including the projects recently announced, the PG&E has awarded contracts for battery energy storage projects totaling more than 1000 MWs of capacity, to be deployed throughout its service area through 2023.