Next-Gen Ford Fiesta St with new 200 PS 3-cylinder, 1.5L Ecoboost with 3 drive modes; cylinder deactivation
Sandia, Lawrence Livermore team improves solid-state H2 storage using nano-confinement; new paradigm for hydrogen storage

SDG&E unveiling new 120MWh, 30MW Li-ion energy storage facility; AES Advancion 4

SDG&E is unveiling the world’s largest lithium-ion battery energy storage facility in partnership with AES Energy Storage, which will enhance regional energy reliability while maximizing renewable energy use. The 30 megawatt (MW) energy storage facility is capable of storing up to 120 megawatt hours of energy, the energy equivalent of serving 20,000 customers for four hours.

The AES Advancion 4 energy storage system uses 400,000 batteries, similar to those in electric vehicles, were installed in nearly 20,000 modules and placed in 24 containers.

Features of the Advancion 4 ESS include:

  • Modular, Compact Array. The Advancion 4 Array now has a compact footprint and optimized design that is five times denser than prior installations, further reducing the total installed cost by requiring less space and balance of system costs. Advancion 4 arrays are engineered to accommodate interchangeable supplier components. These suppliers build to meet Advancion design specifications to avoid costly, per project system integration and are prequalified through AES’ Advancion Supplier Certification Program. A select group of high quality component suppliers have already been certified and the group represents more than half of the global advanced battery production. The modular architecture enables replacement and augmentation over the system life using the best new technologies at the best future price.

  • Advancion Node. The Advancion Node is the smaller, more manageable building block for Advancion Arrays. These independent, modular units incorporate pre-certified batteries and inverters, with AES controls, and are architected in a massively parallel design, offering customers the highest level of reliability and availability, similar to the world’s best datacenter systems. The scalable design allows for standard configurations from 100 kW to over 1,000 MW, and from 15-minutes of duration to more than four hours without any reengineering.

  • Next-Generation Advancion Digital Control System (DCS). The addition of the node architecture to AES’ patented control platform provides owners with control of the asset to maximize revenue and reduce operating costs. Advancion-based solutions now monitor, record and analyze thousands of individual points within the system to tune performance, all protected within a robust cybersecurity framework. This node-level control makes it possible for parts of the same array, or several distributed arrays, to do mix and match applications and to load balance service requirements (e.g. regulation, reserves, renewable ramping, energy delivery, voltage control, etc.), optimizing the operation of the asset.

Last year, the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) directed Southern California investor-owned electric utilities to fast-track additional energy storage options to enhance regional energy reliability. In response, SDG&E expedited ongoing negotiations and contracted with AES Energy Storage to build two projects for a total of 37.5 MW of lithium ion battery energy storage. In addition to the 30 MW facility built in Escondido, Calif., a smaller 7.5 MW installation was built in El Cajon.

By 2030, the company expects to develop or interconnect more than 330 MWs of energy storage on the system. These projects can help support the delivery of more renewables.


Account Deleted

120Mwh is a big battery. It is 120,000kwh! Or 1,200 Tesla Model S100. For comparison Tesla delivered "only" 98Mwh of energy storage in all of Q4.

This market is exploding it will be measured in Gwh by 2018. It is also needed as the planet installed 76Gwatt of solar in 2016 and that market is also exploding with solar power costing less than 5 cents per kwh in countries with low labor costs that are needed to install the panels at low cost. All US nuclear power is 100Gwatt so 76Gwatt new solar globally in 2016 is a lot.


It is a good idea not to mix comparisons.

So comparing US figures in nuclear to global figures is either intentionally or unintentionally giving a false picture.

The nuclear in the US runs at the extraordinary capacity factor of around 95%, whilst solar some out to around 20% as surprisingly solar is less available at night, or even substantially in the early mornings or late evenings.


Power plants 'capacity factor' becomes less important when loads (usage) are very variable or not there.

Hydro plants (with very large water reservoirs) are the exception because output/production can be adjusted to match demand. They are very well suited for peak (variable) loads.

Most other power plants (NPPs, CPPs, Solar, Wind, Hydro without resevoirs etc) produce when wind-sun-water and/or other form of energy is there, regardless of demand. They are more of less fixed and suited for baseloads.

Intermittent REs (Sun and Wind) need large storage units for 24/7 usage.

NPPs and CPPs also need large storage units to store excess production and not to underuse built in capacity or raise the 'power-capacity factor' close to 95%. Without storage, those power plants have much lower real 'capacity factor' than the 95% possible.


The ruse of comparing nameplate capacity for solar and wind continues unabated, Davemart. Having read the articles by advocates stating, as this one from FT does: "Renewables overtake coal as world's largest source of power capacity", the casual observer of energy (i.e., most people) think that all coal plants could simply be shut down now with no ill economic or public health effect (yes, gross shortfalls in power generation negatively affect the wellness of the population). Sad, but folks have other things to worry about.

And Henry, the US nuclear as a whole has been over 90% for three years running, and that includes unplanned maintenance. This is the definition of capacity factor: "The net capacity factor of a power plant is the ratio of its actual output over a period of time, to its potential output if it were possible for it to operate at full nameplate capacity continuously over the same period of time." It's about OUTPUT, not whether the output is used or not as a result of grid design and operation. If you want to apply a derating factor, the solar and wind will look even worse.

NPPs do not need storage. Spend storage money to improve the usefulness of renewables? Of course, but at the same time the cost of storage should be factored in to the fake news versions of solar cost at x cents/kW. (Also for the time being, the fairly awful present capacity factors of NG facilities are largely attributable to the intermittency of wind, not the reliability of NG.)

As for the AES battery source: did anyone stop to note these are LG Chem (which for some reason - not a nefarious one - was left out of the article)? AES has certified several manufacturers to supply cells, but currently only LG has the lock on the Advancion installations.


Energy production capacity without equivalent loads is pure semantic and grosely non productive for all kind of energy plant.

Matching production to load, is the way to raise the REAL Capacity factor to 95+% or so. This can be done two different ways:

1) Vary production to match demand, like it is done with Hydro with large water reservoirs. CPPs, NPPs, Wind, Solar can't do it. NGPPs to some extend (with enough lead time).

2) Vary the load to match production. Not always easy to do unless your are equipped to store the excess production.


If an off grid operation fails to supply storage they don't blame the power source or expect it to provide in times of poor generation.
If major grid operators overseen by Gov'ts behave in the same manner they like to blame the sun for not shining at night or the wind not blowing non stop.

Big data will show different ratios of supply and demand depending on local conditions.
Over larger areas higher diversity is a sure way to increase reliability.
Hot and sunny weather drive high Air con loads and also increase solar supply to grid.The match there is very appropriate especially when extended periods of hot and dry *(so sunny) weather introduce reliability problems for steam based generators. Whatever the power source.Nuclear coal other heat to steam.
The turbines need a good supply of cool water from their lake sized supplies and that becomes increasingly problematic under the same circumstance that favors high solar power ratios.

The comments to this entry are closed.