SoCal Edison seeks distributed resources to enhance local grid reliability

Posted: March 9, 2017 - 09:25 / SoCal / FOA-RFI-RFP
Dive Brief:
Southern California Edison this week issued a request for offers, seeking a variety of renewable and distributed energy resources to increase reliability in an at-risk portion of the grid. 
The utility is seeking between 15 MW and 55 MW of resources, including energy storage, demand response, permanent load shift, combined heat and power, fuel cells, solar PV paired with energy storage and renewable distributed generation.
SCE is seeking to prevent blackouts related to a "transmission-related contingency" in the the Santa Barbara area. Eligible resources must be connected to a circuit, load or lower-level substation served by the Goleta 220/66-kilovolt substation.

Dive Insight:

SCE's request reflects the impact clean energy technology is having on grid operations: it's asking for just about any advanced energy application, but those resources must be in a specific area.

“Unlike other solicitations looking to increase capacity of the overall electric system, this solicitation is specifically designed to help increase resiliency for the Santa Barbara-Goleta area,” Colin Cushnie, SCE vice president of energy procurement and management, said in a statement.

Along with the Goleta tie-in, resources also must be commercially proven technologies, with project start dates between June 1, 2019, and June 1, 2020. SCE will use a competitive bidding process to select resources, and will hold a conference for potential bidders on March 22.

“We are seeking to provide our customers with increased reliability in the event of transmission outages that could affect this region, and do so with local resources,” said Cushnie.

The need for additional resiliency in the area was discovered during SCE's 2015 winter preparedness work, Greentech Media reports, when the utility discovered some transmission towers in the area could be threatened by extreme weather. 

SCE is no stranger to quick deployment of grid resources. Following the Aliso Canyon gas leak, the utility rushed out storage projects to enhance grid reliability. In recent months the utility connected two 20 MW, 80 MWh battery storage systems to its grid, one from Tesla and one from Greensmith. Both were deployed on an expedited schedule, in around six months. 

Recommended Reading:

Greentech Media
SoCal Edison Seeks 55MW of Distributed Energy Resources to Keep Santa Barbara’s Lights On