Storage is Critical to Our Clean Energy Future
Meet EnerSmart Storage
We're 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, we have 8 storage projects in various stages of development and operation in San Diego County totaling 125 megawatts, including our proposed La Mesa project.
Where is the project?
- EnerSmart’s proposed project site is at 8135 El Paso St., La Mesa, CA 91942, immediately adjacent to both residential and commercial uses. Its western perimeter has three homes located approximately 30 feet in elevation above the project site; its eastern and southern sides are next to retail strip malls. The SDG&E Murray substation is located across the street.
What is the project’s zoning?
- The facility will be installed on a vacant property that is zoned CN-D, or Neighborhood Commercial/Urban Design overlay zone, located directly across the street from an existing substation.
What is the project’s purpose?
- The EnerSmart renewable energy storage facility will primarily provide stabilizing services for the California Independent System Operator that oversees the state’s electrical grid. The stabilizing services balance electricity production and consumption minute-by-minute during daily peaks and when the grid is strained. The project specifically balances the electricity available to and needed by the SDG&E Murray substation across the street. It will also store low-cost renewable energy like midday solar or late-night wind energy and dispatch 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 La Mesa residents and businesses?
- The project helps keep the lights on by reliably balancing electricity production and consumption minute-by-minute during daily peaks as well as when the grid is strained. This reduces the likelihood of brownouts or blackouts for the La Mesa residents and businesses served by electricity that passes through the SDG&E Murray substation across the street.
Another benefit is clearer air and fewer greenhouse gas emissions when clean renewable energy like midday solar or late-night wind energy is stored and then released 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.
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. This is increasingly important because California is on its way to achieving 90% clean energy by 2035 and 100% by 2045.
Who does the project benefit?
- The project benefits the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) which is responsible for the statewide operation of California’s electricity transmission system and reduces the likelihood of brownouts or blackouts for the La Mesa residents and businesses served by electricity that passes through the SDG&E Murray substation across the street.
When electricity consumed by those served by the SDG&E Murray substation exceeds electricity 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.
What is the project’s storage capacity?
- The project’s capacity is 18 megawatts or 36 megawatt hours which is enough to power over 10,000 homes each hour that it provides energy to the grid.
Will this project be safe for the neighborhood?
- Our storage projects prioritize safety. The La Mesa site will use lithium iron phosphate batteries which are a chemically and thermally stable battery technology:
- emits no radiation,
- non-contaminating and
- contains no rare earth metals including cobalt or heavy metals.
This is the same battery technology used to power some types of electric school buses because of its safety performance.
What will the project look like?
- EnerSmart designs attractive fencing and landscaping, where permitted, to blend projects into the surrounding community. Whenever possible, we use native plants, rocks and other such low-water use features in our landscape designs to beautify projects and complement neighborhoods.
The La Mesa project will feature 21 containers that measure 30 x 8 x 9 feet on approximately 22,000 square feet of land. The site will be fenced and screened with materials and landscaping that are appropriate to the context of the neighborhood and meet the criteria provided by the City of La Mesa. A sound barrier will be installed along the western property line that neighbors existing residences, which will keep noise levels at the property line below city required decibel levels. In keeping with aesthetics of the surrounding residential neighborhood (see renderings), EnerSmart will be using an attractive stone composite for a six-foot masonry wall along the street frontage. Wrought iron will be used on the eastern side of the property per city standards. There will be no overhead power lines from the site as they’ll be undergrounded to interconnect the storage facility with the nearby SDG&E substation.
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 will the project’s operation have on the neighborhood?
- In addition to providing a more stable electric grid for all La Mesa residents and businesses, the project will not create any additional traffic or parking issues. All operations will be conducted remotely, with the exception of occasional on-site maintenance including landscape maintenance which can be completed using existing street access and parking. The site will be fully secured with perimeter fencing and 24/7 camera security.
Who approved this project?
- The project is an approved use of the land under the City of La Mesa’s zoning. Our Site Development Plan is subject to a design review by the Design Review Board which reviews and approves development plans for compliance with the Urban Design Program.
How much will this project cost SDG&E ratepayers?
- This project will not cost SDG&E ratepayers anything. EnerSmart finances, owns and operates this project, so it’s fully responsible for all project costs.
How does this project support the City of La Mesa’s priorities?
- EnerSmart’s battery energy storage project supports the City of La Mesa’s Climate Action Plan which calls for collaborative approaches between public agencies and businesses as well as using battery storage to provide efficient and reliable power.
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.
When will this project start construction and how long will it last?
- The project could begin construction in August with completion by Q2 2024.
I have a question that wasn’t answered. How can I get in touch?
- EnerSmart works with the community to listen to and address concerns where it can. The best way for local residents or businesses to get in touch with additional questions is by email. We look forward to hearing from you at email@example.com.