US power utility SDG&E has entered into two smart grid contracts in a bid to improve its grid network reliability and efficiency.In a press statement, the company said it partnered with smart energy storage company Hecate Energy Bancroft for the establishment of a new 20MW storage facility in San Diego.
The lithium ion battery will be able to power more than 28,000 homes for up to four hours and is expected to be completed by 2019.
Once completed, SDG&E will be supplied electricity from the facility for a 20 year term. [SDG&E seeks 240MW from smart energy sources]
The plant will store electricity generated from renewable energy sources including wind and solar for consumption when demand is high.
SDG&E in energy efficiency
Furthermore, SDG&E awarded a contract to Willdan Energy Solutions for the rollout of an energy efficiency programme to help commercial customers reduce their power consumption.
The six-year deal is expected to save the utility electricity capacity of up to 18.5MW.
Commenting on the signing of the contracts, Scott Drury, Chief Energy Supply Officer at SDG&E said: "These projects will help us expand the use of energy conservation technologies in many new locations in the community.
[quote] “Customers want clean, reliable and affordable energy and these technologies are part of our efforts to make smart investments that deliver these core benefits," added Drury.
The deals fall under SDG&E’s efforts to meet the California Public Utilities Commission's mandate for the utility to obtain 165MW of energy storage by 2020. [Energy efficiency: National Grid’s pilot saves Worcester $1,25m]
Successful implementation of the two projects will bring the utility’s storage capacity to 79MW.
Energy efficiency in the US
In other energy efficiency news, in late March, PPL utilities received Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission's (PUC)approval to increase the number of projects in its energy efficiency portfolio.
According to a local news source, the approval allows the utility to include a set of energy efficiency initiatives targeting both residential and commercial consumers, in its $307.5m energy efficiency portfolio.
PPL utilities' submission of its energy efficiency plans is in line with the PUC's mandate for utilities to draft new measures or enhance existing measures to help consumers reduce energy bills.
By implementing the approved plan, PPL utilities are targeting to reduce annual consumption by 1.4m MGW, reported The Morning Call.
The development will see launch of a demand-response plan that allows commercial customers to sign up for rate incentives in exchange for agreeing to scale back energy usage at peak times.
Joe Nixon, spokesperson for PPL utilities said: "The programme will be for non-residential customers who agree to reduce their peak demand during demand-response events."