California’s SCE seeks bids for microgrid tech under pilot

The request for offers is the second bid launched under SCE’s preferred resources pilot in Orange County, California

In the US, investor-owned utility Southern California Edison (SCE) has issued a request for offers to incorporate additional renewable energy and capacity into its grid and achieve load reduction.

The RFO for 100MW was put forward under the utility’s preferred resources pilot in central and southern Orange County, California.

Under the pilot programme, SCE is reported to be testing clean energy solutions to defer investment in gas-fired generation.

The energy company said the project’s results will help the utility to make informed decisions surrounding resource use throughout its service territory.

SCE is welcoming microgrid technology to enable it to integrate renewable energy, increase generation capacity as well as achieve load reduction, according to a news report by Microgrid Knowledge.

Commenting on the eligible bids for microgrid technology, Robert Laffoon-Villegas, an SCE spokesperson, said: “… it [SCE] contemplates hybrid projects, a category that encompasses microgrid [technology]. To be eligible, the microgrids must add megawatts to the grid.”

Push toward clean energy

The report adds that government regulations and the closing of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in 2013 has contributed to the popularity and increasing importance of distributed energy in the region.

Caroline McAndrews, director of SCE’s Preferred Resources Pilot, commented: “Now in its second full year, this [preferred resources] pilot is a real-world test where SCE is exploring how cleaner-energy resources can help maintain or improve electric service reliability in a densely populated area.

“This second RFO [PRP RFO #2] helps us prepare for the future and keeps us moving forward in obtaining the cleaner resources needed for this innovative project.”

The RFO calls for 100MW capacity for delivery in three years (2018). SCE stipulates that resources need to connect to circuits or loads that feed into SCE’s Johanna or Santiago substations in Orange County.

Ms McAndrews concluded by saying: “The grid of the future will have a mix of these preferred resources providing reliable and affordable service to our customers while reducing or eliminating the need to build new gas-fired plants.”