by Photo courtesy of BYD

San Diego county will house 12 sites for battery storage systems that aim to increase grid reliability and energy efficiency and the Cities of Chula Vista and El Cajon are set to break ground next month. 

There will be a total of 44 battery storage systems throughout the county and Chula Vista will be one of 10 sites that will use Lithium-iron phosphate batteries. Zinc battery storage technology manufactured by EOS Energy will be located in one of two locations including El Cajon. Both cities are expected to begin commercial operations on April 1. 

The Lithium-iron batteries will be operated in most locations throughout the county and are manufactured by BYD, a company based in China with North American headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. The systems will be designed, constructed, and operated by Enersmart, a San Diego-based renewable energy company. 

Financing will be provided by the North American Development Bank (NADB) and Siemens Financial Services for the BYD projects for EnerSmart. According to EnerSmart Managing Partner James Beach, the total loan is $90 million to $100 million.

The NADB is based in San Antonio, Texas, and was established by the U.S. and Mexican governments in order to finance environmental and energy infrastructure projects within 60 miles of the border.  

About 165 megawatts and 336 megawatt-hours of battery storage electricity will account for the entire portfolio upon completion. This is equivalent to powering 110,000 homes for two hours. According to Beach, the project will assist the San Diego Gas & Electric distribution system. 

At least 60 percent of California’s electricity must come from renewable sources by 2030 according to the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard. It must come entirely from carbon-free sources by 2045 or earlier. 

According to the NABD, the San Diego energy storage project will displace the emissions of 31,100 metric tons of carbon per year. As of December 2020, the Energy Information Administration reports California accounted for the maximum amount of power batteries can discharge at 506 megawatts of battery storage power capacity.

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