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SDG&E to unveil world’s largest lithium ion battery energy storage facility

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ESCONDIDO — San Diego Gas & Electric officials said they plan to unveil the world’s largest lithium ion battery energy storage facility Friday in Escondido.

The facility at the utility’s construction and operations center on Enterprise Street is capable of storing up to 120 megawatt hours of energy, according to SDG&E. That amount can provide about 20,000 customers four hours of power.

Construction on the facility, and a smaller storage system in El Cajon, began last summer.

In May, the California Public Utilities Commission directed Southern California electric utilities to fast-track additional energy storage options to enhance regional reliability. SDG&E is mandated by the state agency to have 165 megawatts of energy storage online by 2024.

Adding storage resources improves the overall reliability of the grid as it allows the system to accommodate greater amounts of renewable power and helps to ease congestion, according to the utility.

SDG&E plans to charge the batteries when there is abundant solar or wind power and tap them during the peak usage time in the early evening.