San Diego utility selects 3MWh in ESS iron flow battery capacity for Community Microgrid

Dec. 21, 2021
The Cameron Corners Microgrid is part of SDG&E’s 2020 Wildfire Mitigation Program

A new southern California microgrid project being built to overcome power shutoff risks during wildfire seasons is gaining iron flow battery capacity as part of the solar-storage makeup.

ESS Tech announced that utility San Diego Gas & Electric has selected its iron flow batteries to join with the solar arrays in the microgrid being built in the Cameron Corners community. The Cameron Corners Microgrid is part of SDG&E’s 2020 Wildfire Mitigation Program.

The system will provide backup power in the event adverse weather events result in a power shut off. The Cameron Corners microgrid will support community facilities such as the Camp Lockett Middle School, the Campo-Morena Village Branch Library, Mountain Health Family Medicine, the AT&T telecommunications facility, CAL FIRE Station #40, two gas stations and a convenience store

ESS will supply six of its second-generation Energy Warehouse systems to provide up to 3 MWh of stored capacity. When the microgrid is not in use, the energy stored in the ESS system will be bid into the California wholesale energy market to earn revenue while supporting grid reliability

"SDG&E has demonstrated global leadership in addressing the reliability challenges caused by climate change,” Eric Dresselhuys, ESS CEO, said. “This project will demonstrate how microgrids can benefit customers in California and beyond.”

The Cameron Corners Microgrid Project is scheduled to come online in the first quarter of 2022. In addition to the ESS iron flow batteries (which are non-flammable), the Cameron Corners 10-acre microgrid site will include five acres of solar panels.

In recent years, the need for microgrid-based energy resilience has become more critical, due to the sharp increase in extreme weather events and wildfires across the Western U.S. According to the latest U.S. Department of Energy data, there are now 575 operational microgrids in the U.S., totaling 4.25 GW.

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(Rod Walton, senior editor for EnergyTech, is a 14-year veteran of covering the energy industry both as a newspaper and trade journalist. He can reached at [email protected]).

About the Author

Rod Walton, EnergyTech Managing Editor | Senior Editor

For EnergyTech editorial inquiries, please contact Managing Editor Rod Walton at [email protected].

Rod Walton has spent 15 years covering the energy industry as a newspaper and trade journalist. He formerly was energy writer and business editor at the Tulsa World. Later, he spent six years covering the electricity power sector for Pennwell and Clarion Events. He joined Endeavor and EnergyTech in November 2021.

Walton earned his Bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. His career stops include the Moore American, Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, Wagoner Tribune and Tulsa World. 

EnergyTech is focused on the mission critical and large-scale energy users and their sustainability and resiliency goals. These include the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as the military, universities, data centers and microgrids. The C&I sectors together account for close to 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

He was named Managing Editor for Microgrid Knowledge and EnergyTech starting July 1, 2023

Many large-scale energy users such as Fortune 500 companies, and mission-critical users such as military bases, universities, healthcare facilities, public safety and data centers, shifting their energy priorities to reach net-zero carbon goals within the coming decades. These include plans for renewable energy power purchase agreements, but also on-site resiliency projects such as microgrids, combined heat and power, rooftop solar, energy storage, digitalization and building efficiency upgrades.