The company has released a sustainability strategy update detailing innovative programs and clean energy investments. - Photo: SDG&E

The company has released a sustainability strategy update detailing innovative programs and clean energy investments.

Photo: SDG&E

San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) released its annual sustainability strategy update, highlighting what it has accomplished over the past year to help create a clean, resilient, and equitable future, as well as outlining new and accelerated goals to help meet its pledge to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

SDG&E’s new sustainability goals include:

  • Operating a Zero Emissions Fleet by 2035 - Recognizing the transportation sector is the single largest source of GHG emissions, SDG&E seeks to operate a 100% zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) fleet by 2035 – five years ahead of the company’s original goal.
  • Achieving Zero Net Energy Facilities by 2030 - Buildings account for 25% of GHG emissions in California. As part of SDG&E’s work to ensure its own operations are sustainable, the company set a new goal to achieve zero net energy for all company-owned facilities in San Diego and southern Orange County.
  • Piloting a Virtual Power Plant by 2022 - In an effort to boost grid reliability, flexibility, and resilience, SDG&E will accelerate its timeline to deliver a virtual power plant (VPP) by 2022, instead of 2025 as originally planned. This innovative demonstration project will integrate multiple types of customer-owned distributed energy resources (DER), including energy storage systems, into a planned renewable microgrid in Shelter Valley, a community in eastern San Diego County. The primary goal of the VPP is to coordinate the dispatch of customer DERs in concert with microgrid energy needs and allow those resources to be dispatched to the regional grid when supplies are tight.  Results of the demonstration will inform future initiatives and grid management system needs.

SDG&E released a comprehensive sustainability strategy in October 2020, which included several aspirational goals. In the interest of accountability and transparency, the company committed to providing an annual update on its progress toward meeting its sustainability goals. Highlights of the company’s accomplishments over the past year include:

  • Helping launch a regional collaborative called Accelerate to Zero Emissions (A2Z) to align and attract public and private investment to expand the infrastructure necessary to support widespread adoption of electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles
  • Adding two energy storage facilities (totaling 50 MW) by year end and starting construction on a third
  • Acquiring three large-scale mobile batteries, which can be deployed as backup power during emergencies
  • Finishing construction of a renewable microgrid by year end to support a rural community in a high fire-threat area that is subject to public safety power shutoffs and starting construction on a second microgrid that will provide backup power to CAL FIRE and U.S. Forest Service aerial firefighting assets
  • Completing a decade-long project to harden electrical infrastructure inside the Cleveland National Forest – replacing more than 2,300 wood poles with steel poles
  • Issuing $750 million in green bonds to raise the capital needed to deliver some of the projects outlined in its sustainability strategy
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