Pilot Project Connects new Battery Storage Technology to California’s Power Grid
A new pilot program from San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) will help integrate renewable energy in California’s power grid. SDG&E installed a flow battery system at the Miguel substation in Bonita to store excess energy from solar production that can be used later when needed. The installation makes the California Independent System Operator (ISO), a nonprofit that maintains reliability for most of the state’s power grid, one of the first wholesale power markets to connect this battery storage technology to its system. Peter Klauer, an adviser for power systems development at ISO, stated the following regarding the new system,
After years of preparation and testing, the flow battery is now in our market. With this technology, we are navigating the future of electrical storage.
A flow battery is an electrical storage device that combines the technology of conventional battery and a fuel cell by using liquid electrolytes of metallic salts pumped through a core with positive and negative electrodes, which are separated by a membrane. The SDG&E flow battery storage system is expected to provide 2 megawatts and 8 megawatt-hours of energy, which would be enough to power around 1,000 homes for up to four hours. SDG&E is working in coordination with Sumitomo Electric of Japan on this pilot program, which also involves a partnership between the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). Hopefully the pilot program is successful and leads to more technology that is able to meet California’s renewable energy goals.