UC San Diego to go for clean energy storage systems


One of the largest and environmentally-friendly, battery-based energy storage systems (ESS) in the US will be installed at the University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego).

The 2.5 MW system is capable enough to power 2,500 homes.

Considered as one of the most advanced micro-grids, UC San Diego generates 92 percent of the electricity used on campus annually, which will be integrated into the ESS system for further energy efficiency.

UC San Diego is committed to practices that promote sustainability and innovation within the campus, in community and world, said, Gary C. Matthews, VC, Resource Management and Planning.

Energy storage has the potential to transform the global energy landscape. It can help make renewable energy sources more reliable and is critical to a resilient, efficient, clean and cost-effective grid, explained Matthews.


Last year, California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) decided to establish a unique energy storage target of 1.3 gigawatts of energy storage is to be procured and installed by three of the state owned utilities by 2024.

This mandate created new criteria by trying to establish a regulatory system for utilities, storage providers and customer-owned storage assets to manage an integrated role.

The 2.5 MW, 5 MWh energy storage system was purchased from BYD and uses lithium-ion iron-phosphate batteries that are environmentally-friendly.

UC San Diego’s portfolio of already existing energy storage devices includes a 30 kilowatt ultra-capacitor-based energy storage system combined with Soitec’s Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) Technology and a second-life battery demonstration site.

Besides, they possess 3.8 million gallon thermal energy storage also. Waste heat from the plant also is used as a power source for a water chiller that fills a 4 million gallon storage tank at night with cold water.

The system is expected to be installed by 2015 that will enable UC San Diego with $3.25 million financial incentives through the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), a California ratepayer-funded rebate program that provides incentives for the installation of clean distributed generation technologies.

The program is supervised by the CPUC, and is available to retail electric and gas customers of the four California utilities such as Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, South California Gas and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E).

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