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

San Diego Gas & Electric released its annual sustainability strategy update Monday, outlining new and accelerated goals to help meet its pledge to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

“Over the past year, we spent a lot of time listening to a wide cross section of stakeholders so that we could incorporate their feedback into our long-term strategy to move our region closer to carbon neutrality,” said SDG&E CEO Caroline Winn. “We recognize we still have much work to do and that we can’t do it alone.

“Community partners who support and challenge us in our work to develop sustainability solutions are invaluable as we focus on strengthening climate equity and community resilience where we all call home,” Winn said.

SDG&E’s stated sustainability goals include:

— operating a zero emissions fleet by 2035, five years ahead of the company’s original goal;

— achieving zero net energy facilities by 2030 for all company-owned facilities in San Diego and southern Orange County; and

— piloting a virtual power plant by 2022, instead of 2025 as originally planned. This innovative project is intended to integrate multiple types of customer-owned distributed energy resources, including energy storage systems, into a planned renewable microgrid in Shelter Valley, a community in eastern San Diego County.

The company, owned by San Diego-based Sempra Energy, released a comprehensive sustainability strategy in October 2020.

In the past year, the company said it had met some of these goals, including adding two energy storage facilities and starting construction on a third, acquiring three large-scale mobile batteries, finishing construction of a renewable microgrid to support a rural community in a high fire-threat area, beginning a regional collaborative called Accelerate to Zero Emissions to “align and attract public and private investment to expand the infrastructure necessary to support widespread adoption of electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles,” completing a project to harden electrical infrastructure inside the Cleveland National Forest and issuing $750 million in green bonds to raise the capital needed to deliver some of the projects outlined in its sustainability strategy.

–City News Service

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