Renewables, Revenues & Reliability
The San Vicente Energy Storage Facility Project could:
- Help balance the energy grid and enhance system reliability by storing energy during low-use periods
- Produce energy on demand, especially during high-use periods
- Store surplus renewable wind and solar energy that would otherwise be lost
- Generate additional revenue to offset public agency costs and help minimize water rate increases
- Contribute to the state and local goals of a carbon-free future by making renewable energy available day and night.
- Increase energy independence in the local region.
- Reduce reliance on imported energy by storing local generated renewable energy to use locally at times of low local generation.
- Store power for 8 hours or more (compared to battery storage systems that are typically limited to 4 hours of storage).
In addition, the project offers several economic benefits. Job creation related to the project has been estimated at 75,000 person-hours of pre-construction activities over the next three years of planning and permitting. Work includes:
- Environmental assessment
- Permitting and licensing
- Design and pre-engineering
- Geotechnical investigations
- Project planning and management
Following environmental review, project approval and permitting, direct jobs could be created, including local craft labor; technical, engineering, environmental, supervisory staff; project management, finance, accounting, legal jobs. There’s also the potential for substantial indirect/induced job creation and economic activity. Following construction, permanent jobs will be created throughout operation and maintenance.
Economic benefits will be reviewed and updated per the anticipated Pre-Construction Development Agreement.
Protection from blackouts
The proposed project could help stabilize the region’s power supply by integrating more renewable energy into the grid to help avoid interruptions in service. It would protect residents and businesses from blackouts during peak energy demand periods like heat waves.
Improved power grid reliability
These types of facilities function as a battery with the potential to store up to 8-hours (4,000 megawatt-hours) of energy per day, enough to provide power for about 135,000 households. If approved, the facility would increase the flexibility of the power grid by providing energy when it’s needed, not just when it can be generated.
Currently, San Diego generates excess solar energy but there is not sufficient storage to hold that energy for later use. The region now buys out-of-state power when local demand exceeds supply. If approved, this project could help correct that imbalance by leveraging existing water infrastructure to provide energy storage and reduce the region’s reliance on imported energy.
Minimizes water rate increases
The proposed project could create a new revenue stream for the Water Authority and the City of San Diego, which would help to offset water agency costs and help to reduce water rate increases.
While facility design and planning would takes many years to approve, permit, and construct, it could function for generations to come.