Southern California has taken a historic step forward to adding battery storage capacity to integrate with renewables and replace gas-fired power generation in its electricity mix.
The utility announced Friday that it had signed several contracts totaling 770 MW to enhance grid reliability and respond to potential energy shortfalls in the state. Some of the battery storage projects procured will be located near solar farms.
“These new emissions-free projects will help us ensure the reliability of the grid for our customers and integrate an ever-increasing amount of clean renewable energy over the next decade,” said William Walsh, SCE vice president of Energy Procurement & Management.
These procurements include three 15-year PPA deals with NextEra Energy Resources (pictured at top) totaling 460 MW, and two 20-year contracts with Southern Power for a combined 160 MW. SCE also signed PPAs with TerraGen Power and LS Power for the remainder.
All of the projects are expected to be online next year, according to the release.
Last year, the California Public Utilities Commission identified potential reliability issues in the state’s electric supply. Analysis revealed that the retirement of aging natural gas plants, the increasing levels of solar and wind energy that need to be integrated into the system and shifts in peak time power use would all contribute to potential issues on the system.
The contracts, which were selected in competitive bidding, will require CPUC approval.
“Signing these contracts aligns with SCE’s Pathway 2045, continues our support of California’s goal to green the state and also encourages clean energy projects of all types, creating jobs and strengthening our economy,” said Walsh.