San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) announced it is seeking between 500 and 800 megawatts (MW) of new, local resources to help replace the power previously provided by the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station as well as the retirement of older, coastal power plants that use once-through-cooling technology. The California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) Energy Division approved SDG&E’s procurement plans earlier this year outlining the company’s approach to procuring 500 to 800 MW of new resources by 2022, with a minimum of 200 MW coming from “preferred resources.”
Preferred resources include energy efficiency, demand response, renewables, combined heat and power resources and distributed generation. Additionally, a minimum of 25 MW of energy storage is included in the mix. SDG&E, through a competitive solicitation, seeks new and innovative solutions to deliver these resources and will evaluate all of them together to ensure that customers are receiving the greatest benefit at the lowest cost. Another important aspect of this effort is that any new resource included will be in the local area which means that the resources obtained will be close to the customers who will be served by them.
“With the region facing a future without the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, we must take new and creative approaches to the problem to help sustain reliability in the region at the lowest cost,” said James P. Avery, senior vice president of power supply for SDG&E. “As our customers value sound environmental solutions, we’re committed to achieving this by adding additional cleaner fuels to our portfolio to help to pave the way for a greener, brighter energy future.”
Bids for the all-source solicitation for new and preferred local resources are due Jan. 5, 2015. SDG&E delivered more than 23 percent renewable energy in 2013 and expects to reach 33 percent renewable energy by the end of this year, six years ahead of the state-mandated target. This achievement will be possible due in large part to the construction of the Sunrise Powerlink, a 500-kV transmission line that connects SDG&E’s service territory to abundant renewable resources to the east. Of the 10 solar and wind contracts SDG&E signed in Imperial County, seven are now delivering a total of more than 900 MW across the Sunrise Powerlink.
SDG&E also will evaluate conventional resources as part of this “all source” solicitation. SDG&E already is seeking regulatory approval of a power purchase agreement with the Carlsbad Energy Center, a proposed 600-MW, state-of-the-art conventional peaking facility. If approved, the Carlsbad Energy Center would provide the quick-start flexibility needed to reliably integrate the increasing amount of intermittent renewable energy that is being added to the system. The proposed plant would also be available when customer demand is highest in the late afternoon and early evening when renewable power slows or stops producing. If the CPUC approves the Carlsbad Application, the amount of local resources being sought in the all source solicitation would be reduced accordingly.
SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and 861,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The utility’s area spans 4,100 square miles. SDG&E is committed to creating ways to help customers save energy and money every day. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego