CALIFORNIA CITY — A temporary solution to the City’s power shortage offered by Southern California Edison gained full support by City Council during its regular meeting on Tuesday.
The electric utility company proposed to install a Battery Energy System Storage to help manage the growth in electrical demand by the City while a long-term solution is being developed.
Cal Rossi, SoCalEdison’s government relations manager, said the electrical load growth is in line with the City’s efforts to develop indoor horticulture and become the hub for the manufacture and distribution of cannabis in the state.
“(SoCalEdison) has been exploring several projects and initiatives to meet future load growth in the region,” he said. “… While this project will not add enough capacity to meet all projected demand, it will help.”
The BESS would provide roughly three megawatts of power. Senior engineer Grant Davis said that much power would be able to service nearly 2,000 average residential houses.
“This is actually just a drop in the bucket compared to the need out there,” he said. “I’m sorry to say this is not going to be a complete solution from day one; it’s just going to help the situation. It’s going to help us be able to serve more customers sooner than we otherwise would be able to.”
SoCalEdison has a substation on the north corner of Hacienda Boulevard and Mendiburu Road and looked into putting the BESS on the parcel that the existing substation is on.
Davis said they found a lot of issues with the existing site because most of it is crossed by a 100-year flood zone which also contains a jurisdictional waterway.
The company is looking in the near future to possibly acquire a parcel south of the substation to install the BESS.
“This parcel is very attractive because less of it is covered by that jurisdictional waterway or the 100-year flood zone,” Davis said. “As a result, there’s a lot more open space and very ideal usable space to locate the battery system.”
The BESS is expected to have a life-span of 10 years as SoCalEdison implements more long-term permanent upgrades.
“The battery would be performing for that entire time until those long-term permanent solutions are in place,” Davis said.
Mayor Jeanie O’Laughlin confirmed from a meeting she had with the electric utility company, that SoCalEdison has a plan to put in more power while the BESS is in operation.
“This was the quickest thing that they could do to get us power right now,” she said. “… It’ll take seven years to build out everything, but this will at least keep us going in the short term. They are really working with us, they realize the need.”