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San Diego Gas & Electric: Borrego Springs Microgrid Project
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Lead Organization:
San Diego Gas and Electric Company
HQ Location:
San Diego, California
Project Contact Information:
 Tom Bialek

Mario Sciulli
Project Manager
National Energy Technology Laboratory
626 Cochrans Mill Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15236-0940
Contact: 412-386-5435

Tom Bialek
Principal Investigator
San Diego Gas & Electric
8315 Century Park Court, CP52E
San Diego, CA 92123

Project Summary:

The objective of this project was described as to "conduct a pilot scale “proof-of-concept” test in San Diego, CA of how information-based technologies and DER may increase utility asset utilization and reliability" [1]. Goals of this project include [1]:
- Achieve > 15% reduction in feeder peak load through the integration of multiple, integrated DER–distributed generation (DG), advanced energy storage, and price driven load management
- Demonstrate capability of Volt-Amperes-Reactive (VAR) management- coordinating the DER with existing VAR management/compensation tools.
- Demonstrate ‘self-healing’ networks through the integration of Feeder Automation System Technologies (FAST) into microgrid operations
- Demonstrate the integration of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and Outage Management System/Distribution Management System (OMS/DMS) into microgrid operations
- Demonstrate the capability to use automated distribution control to intentionally island customers in response to system problems

This SDG&E microgrid project was designed to integrate a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) component, which was to focus on utility-side applications, and a California Energy Commission (CEC) portion, focusing on customer-side applications [2]. DOE contributed $7.2M towards (CEC contributed $2.8M towards) the total project cost over 3 years. For the DOE portion, the project primarily involved integration of 5 technologies: distributed energy resources (DER) and VAr, feeder automation system technologies (FAST), advanced energy storage (AES), OMS/DMS system, and price driven load management (PDLM). For the CEC portion, the project initially involved integration of the following customer based technologies: remote controlled demand response devices (e.g. thermostats), solar panels, battery storage, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV’s), and grid-friendly appliances. The project team also performed a cost/benefit analysis for full-scale deployment.

- Pacific Northwest National Lab
- University of San Diego
- California Energy Commission
- Lockheed Martin
- Xanthus
- Consulting Int’l
- Horizon Energy Group
- S&C Electric Co.
- Oracle

Key Milestones:
- Integration of Existing Distributed Generation (DG) and Volt Ampere Reactive (VAR) (began demonstration activities in November 2011)
- Integration of Feeder Automation System Technologies (FAST) (began functionality test cases in March 2013)
- Integration of advanced energy storage (conducted initial demonstrations in October 2012)
- Integration of Outage Management System (OMS) for Microgrid (September 2012)
- Integration of Price-Driven Load Management (PDLM) (February 2013)

Targeted Benefits:

- Improved stability of a microgrid
- Improved effective capacity of feeder/substation
- Improved visibility into the operation of a microgrid

Additional Information:

[1] SDG&E-Beach Cities MicroGrid Project. Sep. 2009. Online [Available]: http://der.lbl.gov/sites/der.lbl.gov/files/sandiego_bialek.pdf
[2] Mark McGranaghan and Frances Cleveland. California's PIER Program - Addressing the Electricity Distribution Infrastructure Challenges. 3rd International Conference on Integration of Renewable and Distributed Energy Resources. Dec. 2008. Online [Available]: http://www.conference-on-integration.com/pres/43_McGranaghan.pdf


[1] EPRI's SDG&E Project Factsheet. URL: http://www.smartgrid.epri.com/doc/SDGE%20RDSI%20%20Final.pdf
[2] "SDG&E-Beach Cities MicroGrid Project" presented at the Symposium on Microgrids September 17-18, 2009. URL: http://der.lbl.gov/sites/der.lbl.gov/files/sandiego_bialek.pdf

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