SDG&E signs 20 MW storage contract

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One of the largest utilities in California has signed a 20 MW energy storage contract with Hecate Energy Bancroft that will deliver battery capacity capable of storing four hours’ worth of electricity for 28,000 local households.

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) inked the contract on Thursday with Hecate in what will be the largest battery project of its kind in the region. The storage facility will be a lithium-ion battery that will help bolster San Diego’s growing renewable energy sector.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has set a statewide storage target of 1.32 GW by investor-owned utilities by 2020. For SDG&E that target has been set at 165 MW, the utility confirmed in a press release. With this new 20 MW project on board, SDG&E will have 79 MW of storage capacity in its portfolio.

The utility also signed an 18.5 MW contract with Willdan Energy Solutions for the provision of energy efficiency projects in the region, the goal being the introduction of measures to reduce customers’ energy usage across a variety of local buildings.

"These projects will help us expand the use of energy conservation technologies in many new locations in the community," said Scott Drury, SDG&E’s chief energy supply officer. "Furthermore, SDG&E is proud to launch an advanced energy storage facility to harness solar, wind and other sources of energy so that we can supply it to our customers when they need it most."

In 2015, the U.S. storage market more than tripled, growing by 221 MW nationwide over the course of the year, with the fourth quarter adding 112 MW alone, according to data published last month by GTM Research.