SDG&E Pledges to Reach Net Zero GHG Emissions By 2045
Building on the sustainability strategy it released last October and its pledge to reach net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2045, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) announced it is developing two hydrogen pilot projects, nearing completion of an additional battery storage facility and will break ground on another, and launching a vehicle-to-grid pilot program featuring six electric school buses, among other efforts.
“Getting to a net zero future is the moonshot challenge of our era and one that the SDG&E team fully embraces,” said SDG&E Chief Executive Officer Caroline Winn. “SDG&E has worked hard to align our investments with the climate objectives of local cities, the region and state and while there is a lot more work to be done, we are seeing many clean energy innovations emerge, and progress being made toward our mutual goal of a 100% clean energy future. While we’ll continue to evolve our efforts to reflect stakeholder feedback, regulatory changes, and technological breakthroughs, I believe we can get there…one project at a time.”
In partnership with local startups and organizations, SDG&E has advanced a number of hydrogen, energy storage, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure projects over the past year. (See fact sheet).
These projects illustrate some of the concrete steps SDG&E is taking to deliver on its sustainability commitments.
Hydrogen Innovations: SDG&E will begin construction this year on two hydrogen demonstration projects that will test half a dozen use cases and anticipates putting them into service in 2022.
- The Borrego Springs Green Hydrogen Project will demonstrate hydrogen’s use as long-duration energy storage; a microgrid asset; and a resource for dispatch by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) to support grid reliability.
- The Palomar Green Hydrogen Systems Project will demonstrate the blending of hydrogen with natural gas as fuel for an electric generator, as well as onsite production of green hydrogen for use as a cooling gas. Additionally, SDG&E will install its first hydrogen fueling station to support the first fuel cell vehicles in its fleet.
Energy Storage: Currently, SDG&E owns and operates 13 energy storage projects, totaling about 45 MW of energy storage. To maximize the use of renewable energy and enhance reliability, SDG&E expects to have a total of 135 MW of utility-owned energy storage integrated into the local with the addition of the following:
- Top Gun Energy Storage in Miramar area of San Diego (30MW/120MWh): Expected to be operational in June 2021.
- Kearny Energy Storage in the City of San Diego (20MW/80MWh): Breaking ground this month with completion expected in late summer/early fall 2021.
- Fallbrook Energy Storage in unincorporated North San Diego County (40MW/160MWh facility): Construction is expected to begin late 2021/early 2022.
Clean Transportation: In addition to expanding the EV charging network through multiple programs, SDG&E is striving to pioneer vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology.
- Vehicle-to-Grid Pilot Program: SDG&E anticipates breaking ground this month on the construction of bi-directional DC fast chargers at the Cajon Valley Union School District to support six electric buses.
- Bringing Chargers to Parks and Beaches: SDG&E kicked off construction on the first project in its parks and beaches program, which will bring 140 chargers to 22 locations.
- Power Your Drive for Fleets: In March, SDG&E energized the first EV chargers it installed as part of its medium and heavy-duty EV infrastructure program, which aims to serve at least 3,000 vehicles at 300 sites.
“The development and the implementation of clean technologies have already helped create thousands of high-quality jobs in our region,” said Cleantech San Diego President and CEO Jason Anderson. “This burgeoning sector is poised for continued growth, as more companies like SDG&E take the lead to drive innovations.”
“Clean air goes hand in hand with clean energy and clean transportation,” said Rita Redaelli, executive director of the American Lung Association in California – San Diego. “We are excited about the prospect of more electric cars, buses, and trucks on the road, as SDG&E scales up the charging network in our region.”
SDG&E’s climate pledge to achieve net zero emissions by 2045 covers all emissions (Scope 1, 2, and 3), which would eliminate not only its own direct emissions, but also those generated by customers. Efforts are already underway, and the company will seek out more opportunities to collaborate with business and industry in the communities it serves.
“Our school district has benefitted greatly from the electrification of our school buses,” said Scott Buxbaum, assistant superintendent, business services, Cajon Valley Union School District. “Working with SDG&E on the vehicle to grid pilot program, we will be able to take it a step further by providing energy from the batteries back to the electric grid, which we can use to benefit our community during times of high demand and explore ways to save money.”
“SDG&E’s announcement aligns with the Port of San Diego’s focus on environmental justice,” said Sandy Naranjo, National City’s representative on the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “I’m also pleased that a working group with SDG&E and other key environmental and community stakeholders has been formed to explore how we can put words into action to further improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions on and around San Diego Bay and throughout our region.”