San Diego Gas and Electric has recently entered into contracts for five battery storage projects, which in total will provide 83.5 megawatts. California’s new energy storage mandate has helped inspire the motivation behind this new undertaking.

The amount of energy provided by these projects is comparable to having over 5,000 all-electric long-range vehicles at your disposal. All five of the facilities will store energy produced solar, wind and other traditional sources. It will then distribute the energy during high demand peaks.

Two of the five lithium-ion facilities that are included in the project will be owned by SDG&E. The two 30 MW and 240 MW facilities would be used to improve grid reliability in the respective regions while also utilizing the maximum renewable energy possible.

The other three facilities, which total 13.5 MW, are each owned independently by Powin Energy, Enel Green Power North America, and Advanced Microgrid Solutions. They will be constructed in Escondido, Poway, and San Juan Capistrano, respectively.

In 2013, the state of California passed the country’s first energy storage mandate. The relatively new regulation requires investor owned utilities to invest in 1.325 GW of energy storage by 2020.

In 2016, SDG&E, along with Southern California Edison, began accelerating the rate they invest in storage project as a result of the Aliso Canyon methane leak. The leak curbed the supply of gas that could reach generators in the Los Angeles basin. These two utilities began using various long duration batteries, which culminated in the creation of the world’s largest lithium-ion facility – a 120 MWh facility in Escondido.

On Thursday, SDG&E announced that it will deploy a least one more battery of the same size, to help fulfill the 165 MW obligation it has as part of its share of the energy storage mandate.

Renewable Energy Systems are building a 30 MW, 120 MWh facility in Miramar – likely not even the largest project the utility is undertaking. AES will build a 40 MW facility as well, but no duration details were given following that announcement.

SDG&E will own the two large batteries, while the smaller facilities that total 13.5 MW will be owned by third parties. The five in total are expected to come online between the end of 2019 and the end of 2021.

The utility also signed a contract to meet 4.5 MW of demand response from industrial customers. If the contracts end up being approved by the California Public Utilities Commission, construction would begin within the next 18 months.

The goal of these projects, according the vice president of energy procurement at San Diego Gas & Electric, is to add flexibility to the system while not compromising reliability, and while also providing clean energy to local communities. The utility also wants to remain at the forefront of the movement with California to reach the clean-energy and carbon emission targets.

California has recently received heat from some commentators that the solutions proposed by the state are too expensive, and may hinder the natural growth that could be provided by the free market if mandates were not used. However, these recent developments seem to indicate that private businesses are willing to comply with state regulation, even if it costs them substantial amounts of money.