Storage is Critical to Our Clean Energy Future
Who is EnerSmart Storage?
EnerSmart Storage is a San Diego-based battery storage innovator investing in solutions to support California’s clean energy transition. EnerSmart Storage develops, owns and operates energy storage projects to help keep the lights on by balancing electricity production and consumption minute-by-minute during daily peaks and grid-straining events. Formed in 2019, EnerSmart has 8 storage projects in various stages of development and operation in San Diego County totaling 125 megawatts.
Does this project support California’s
- EnerSmart’s battery solutions support California’s measure to achieve carbon neutrality no later than 2045 and 90% clean energy by 2035. Battery storage is critical to California’s clean energy future because it provides reliable and instant electricity to the grid when renewable sources like wind and solar are unavailable or insufficient to meet demand.
Where is the project?
What is the project’s purpose?
The EnerSmart renewable energy storage facility primarily provides stabilizing services for the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) which oversees the state’s electrical grid. The project specifically balances the electricity available to and needed by SDG&E’s Otay substation. It also stores low-cost renewable energy (like midday solar or late-night wind energy) and dispatches it back to the grid when demand for electricity peaks between 4 and 9 p.m. and during heat waves, wildfires or other grid-straining events
How does the project benefit Chula Vista residents and businesses?
- The project helps keep the lights on by reliably balancing electricity production and consumption minute by minute during daily peaks and when the grid is strained. This reduces the likelihood of brownouts or blackouts for the Chula Vista residents and businesses served by electricity that passes through SDG&E’s Otay substation. Another benefit is clearer air and fewer greenhouse gas emissions when clean, renewable solar and/or wind energy is stored and then released back to the grid during peak demand between 4 and 9 p.m. and during unexpected emergencies.
Battery storage is critical to California’s clean energy future because it provides reliable and instant electricity to the grid when renewable sources are unavailable or insufficient to meet demand. This will continue to be an increasingly important issue as California aims to achieve 90% clean energy by 2035 and 100% by 2045.
Who does EnerSmart’s Chula Vista project benefit?
- The project benefits CAISO which is responsible for California’s electric transmission system. CAISO’s work also reduces the likelihood of blackouts for Chula Vista residents and businesses served by electricity that passes through SDG&E’s Otay substation. When electricity consumed by those served by this substation exceeds what’s available from the transmission system, imbalances result that can harm electricity infrastructure and, if not corrected within seconds, trigger brownouts and ultimately blackouts. As a result, CAISO contracts with reliable battery storage providers like EnerSmart to provide stabilizing services and clean energy storage to maintain grid resiliency as California transitions to a clean energy future.
Since the facility is privately owned and operated by EnerSmart, it requires no ratepayer funding support. In addition, it gives local utility customers all the benefits of grid resilience which is a hallmark of energy storage projects like this one.
What is the project’s storage capacity?
- The project’s capacity is 6 megawatts (MW) or 12 megawatt hours (MWH) which is enough to power nearly 3,000 homes each hour that it provides energy to the grid.
Is this project safe for the neighborhood?
- All EnerSmart storage projects prioritize safety.The Chula Vista site uses lithium iron phosphate batteries which consist of a chemically and thermally stable battery technology that is also:
- Emissions- and radiation-free
- Free from rare earth metals, including cobalt or other heavy metals
This is the same battery technology used to power some types of electric school buses because of its safety performance.
What does the project look like?
- EnerSmart designs attractive fencing and landscaping, where permitted, to blend projects into the surrounding community.Whenever possible, native plants, rocks and other such low-water use features are used in landscape designs to beautify projects and complement neighborhoods.
In its entirety, the Chula Vista project features six battery storage containers measuring 8.7’ x 5.6’ x 32.2’ that sit on individual concrete equipment pads approximately eight feet apart and connect to the substation at 3530 Main St. via underground lines. The project sits behind a 10-foot fence along with walls on all four sides.
What will the project sound like?
- EnerSmart takes care to mitigate occasional battery sound and comply fully with local noise ordinances. The project’s battery systems emit sounds when in use, which is typically for very short periods and mostly during the day when electricity demand is high. EnerSmart’s sound mitigation designs include barriers to enclose and deflect sound away from residential neighbors. Individual battery storage enclosures around each unit also help to contain noise. EnerSmart invests in sound studies during the project design phase to determine the impacts and determine effective mitigation measures.
Other than construction, what impact does the project’s operation have on the neighborhood?
- In addition to providing a more stable electric grid for all Chula Vista residents and businesses, the project does not create any additional traffic or parking issues. All operations are conducted remotely, with the exception of occasional on-site maintenance which will be completed using existing street access and parking. The site is fully secured with perimeter fencing and 24/7 camera security.
Was an environmental study conducted prior to installation?
- Multiple site studies have been completed to include historical, agricultural, geotechnical, cultural, Indian tribal and county surveillance, among others, and all had favorable results for the project.
Civil engineering experts analyzed flooding potential and designed drainage systems as required by code.
There are no existing septic tanks or water wells on the site.
Who approved this project?
- The project site’s minor use permit process is conducted through the County of San Diego. The Site Development Plan was subject to a design review by the Design Review Board which approves development plans for compliance with the Urban Design Program. In addition, recommendations from the Chula Vista Community Planning Group were also used.
How much does this project cost SDG&E ratepayers
- This project does not cost SDG&E ratepayers anything, yet they receive all of the benefits of its impact on grid reliability and greenhouse gas reduction. EnerSmart finances, owns and operates this project, so it’s fully responsible for all project costs.
When did this project go live?
- The Chula Vista energy storage system began operations in August 2023, following a ribbon-cutting ceremony early that month.
I have a question that wasn’t answered. How can I get in touch?
- EnerSmart works withthe community to listen to and address concerns where it can. The best way for residents or businesses to get in touch withadditional questions is via email at email@example.com.