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SDG&E Unveils 'World's Largest' Lithium-ion Battery Energy Storage Facility

March 1, 2017
The 30-MW energy storage facility is capable of storing up to 120 MWh of energy.

Last week, SDG&E showcased the world's largest lithium-ion battery energy storage facility in partnership with AES Energy Storage, which will enhance regional energy reliability while maximizing renewable energy use. The 30-MW energy storage facility is capable of storing up to 120 MWh of energy, the energy equivalent of serving 20,000 customers for four hours.

Last year, the California Public Utility Commission directed Southern California investor-owned electric utilities to fast-track additional energy storage options to enhance regional energy reliability. In response, SDG&E expedited ongoing negotiations and contracted with AES Energy Storage to build two projects for a total of 37.5 MW of lithium-ion battery energy storage. In addition to the 30-MW facility built in Escondido, Calif., a smaller 7.5-MW installation was built in El Cajon.

Located at SDG&E substations, the Advancion energy storage arrays will provide 37.5 MW of power and serve as a 75-MW flexible resource to the grid. Combined, the arrays will provide enough capacity to power approximately 25,000 homes for four hours. Both arrays incorporate components from Advancion-certified suppliers, including batteries by Samsung SDI and power conversion systems by Parker Hannifin.

The 400,000 batteries, similar to those in electric vehicles, were installed in nearly 20,000 modules and placed in 24 containers. The batteries will act like a sponge, soaking up and storing energy when it is abundant — when the sun is shining, the wind is blowing and energy use is low — and releasing it when energy resources are in high demand. This will provide reliable energy when customers need it most and maximize the use of renewable resources such as solar and wind.

By 2030, SDG&E expects to develop or interconnect more than 330 MW of energy storage on the system. These projects can help support the delivery of more renewables to customers.

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