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PXiSE technology selected for eight microgrid sites in San Diego County

Microgrids will use renewable energy to enhance community resilience during wildfire events

PXiSE has provided its technology to San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) at eight front-of-the-meter microgrid sites. Once added, PXiSE’s technology will significantly increase the reliability and capability of each microgrid and will optimize solar power during islanding operations.

The sites will use PXiSE microgrid controls as a local area distribution controller (LADC) which will support remote control, visibility, and supervisory operation of the microgrids from SDG&E’s distribution control center. The sites vary in their DER configuration, but all include a battery energy storage system (BESS). These systems range in size from 0.5MW/2MWh to 10MW/50.5MWh.

“The enhancements will improve community resilience during PSPS events,” said Tim Allen, PXiSE President & CEO. “As a bonus, PXiSE’s controller will enable excess power generation to be bid into the market, improving the ROI of the installed assets.”

As part of its Wildfire Mitigation Plan, SDG&E is expanding its microgrid portfolio to serve desert communities in high-risk wildfire areas. Existing microgrids are being enhanced with additional distributed energy resources (DERs) like solar PV and battery energy storage, with the goal of transitioning to 100% renewable assets. These assets can keep the microgrid energized during public safety power shutoff (PSPS) events. During such an event, the microgrid can disconnect from the larger grid and use local DERs to continue to power critical infrastructure such as health and safety facilities, community centers, and grocery stores.

Specifically, PXiSE’s technology enables:

  • The microgrid to provide power during intentional and unplanned islanding operations
  • Control of the microgrid’s DERs individually and as a group
  • Maximized renewable energy usage
  • Several operating modes to suit the situation:
    • Normal operation – excess generation from the DERs will be bid into the market
    • Planned outages – the DERs will be used to power customers on the microgrid circuit
    • Unplanned events – the controller will initiate a blackstart to power customers on the microgrid circuit using the DERs

Project rollout is ongoing with completion of all sites targeted for 2024.