A sign outside a San Diego Gas & Electric building. Courtesy of the company

Building on the sustainability strategy it released last October, San Diego Gas & Electric announced it is developing two hydrogen pilot projects, nearing completion of an additional battery storage facility and poised to break ground on another and launching a vehicle-to-grid pilot program featuring six electric school buses.

“Getting to a net zero future is the moonshot challenge of our era and one that the SDG&E team fully embraces,” said SDG&E CEO Caroline Winn.

The utility pledged last year to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

“SDG&E has worked hard to align our investments with the climate objectives of local cities, the region and state and while there is a lot more work to be done, we are seeing many clean energy innovations emerge, and progress being made toward our mutual goal of a 100% clean energy future,” Winnd. “While we’ll continue to evolve our efforts to reflect stakeholder feedback, regulatory changes and technological breakthroughs, I believe we can get there … one project at a time.”

SDG&E, a subsidiary of San Diego-based Sempra Energy. will begin construction this year on two hydrogen pilot projects and anticipates putting them into service in 2022.

The Borrego Springs Green Hydrogen Project is intended to demonstrate hydrogen’s use as long-duration energy storage, a microgrid asset and a resource for dispatch by the California Independent System Operator to support grid reliability. The Palomar Green Hydrogen Systems Project is intended to demonstrate the blending of hydrogen with natural gas as fuel for an electric generator, as well as onsite production of green hydrogen for use as a cooling gas. Additionally, SDG&E will install its first hydrogen fueling station to support the first fuel cell vehicles in its fleet.

Currently, SDG&E owns and operates 13 energy storage projects, totaling about 45 megawatts of energy storage. To maximize the use of renewable energy and enhance reliability, SDG&E expects to have a total of 135 MW of utility-owned energy storage integrated into the local with the addition of Top Gun Energy Storage, expected to be operational in June, and Kearny Energy Storage, which is breaking ground this month with completion expected in late summer/early fall.

The company also has plans for Fallbrook Energy Storage in unincorporated north San Diego County with construction expected to begin late this year or in early 2022.

SDG&E anticipates breaking ground this month on the construction of bi- directional DC fast chargers at the Cajon Valley Union School District to support a half-dozen electric buses.

City News Service contributed to this article.

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