Demonstrate a utility-owned renewable based community microgrid at Borrego Springs California
A Utility Owned Renewable Community Microgrid
San Diego Gas & Electric Company
San Diego, CA
The project was completed in July 2018. The Borrego Springs Microgrid project demonstrated a robust, renewable-based system that provides critical power during emergencies and planned outages, which are necessary when system upgrades and maintenance work are needed. Unlike behind the meter microgrids, the Borrego Springs Microgrid is the first true community microgrid for an entire city and not just for a single metered customer. A unique aspect of this microgrid is that the microgrid assets are located throughout the community where they are able to provide the greatest support. The final report is available at: https://www.energy.ca.gov/2019publications/CEC-500-2019-011/CEC-500-201….
California needs to make better use of locally available renewable energy to increase resiliency and address climate change impacts, such as increased fires, severe storms, and heatwaves. Microgrid demonstrations are needed to show that high penetration renewable based microgrids are able to provide islands of stable, independent power using local renewable energy. This is particularly critical for communities at or near the end of a distribution line, which is also susceptible to outages from severe weather.
SDG&E and the project team demonstrated a utility-owned renewable based community microgrid at Borrego Springs California. The renewable based microgrid is able to island the entire community with a peak load of approximately 14 MW, serving approximately 2,500 residential and 300 commercial and industrial customers. The SDG&E microgrid utilizes a 26 MW PV system, two substation batteries, three distributed batteries and an ultracapacitor.
The project demonstrated improved grid resiliency from using a high penetration renewable based microgrid. There was an immediate benefit to the Borrego Springs community of non-interrupted energy resources during power outages. The microgrid controller was also able to make greater use of the large local solar plant's renewable energy while avoiding adverse grid impacts by coordinating the operation of the various energy storage units with the solar energy output.
Borrego Springs used to experience an average of four hours of outages per year between 2008 and 2012. By avoiding these outages, using Lawrence Berkeley National Lab's value of service estimates tool, the microgrid saves custom
The single 26 MW solar array serving the microgrid represents a reduction of approximately 21,000 metric tons of CO2 per year when compared with fossil fueled generation.
The microgrid successfully islanded the community on multiple occasions during daylight and nighttime conditions demonstrating increased reliability. This microgrid included multiple assets which were originally designed to work
Key Project Members
The Regents of the University of California, San Diego
Alpha Ten Technologies Inc.
U.S. Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Borrego Springs Chamber of Commerce
Microgrid Energy Solutions, LLC
Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc.
Omega Microgrid Technology
San Diego Gas &