UC San Diego to Run Off Battery-Like System

One of the largest battery-based energy storage systems in the U.S., capable of running 2,500 homes, will soon be powering up UC San Diego.

In spring 2015, the environmentally friendly system will be added to the school’s microgrid, which is responsible for 92 percent of the electricity used on campus every year, according to UC San Diego officials.

“Energy storage has the potential to transform the global energy landscape,” said Gary C. Matthews, vice chancellor for Resource Management and Planning, in a release. “It can help make renewable energy sources more reliable and is critical to a resilient, efficient, clean and cost-effective grid. We are proud to help advance this technology.”

The university says its microgrid, one of the most advanced in the world, and is a scaled-down version of a larger grid that controls energy from clean and conventional sources.

Adding the 2.5 megawatt, 5 megawatt-hour storage system will help keep intermittent renewable energy like solar power on hand for when it is needed, making the grid more reliable and resilient.

Officials say the storage system comes from rechargeable battery supplier BYD and does not contain any toxic electrolytes and heavy metals.

Once installed, UC San Diego will be eligible for up to $3.25 million in financial incentives through the state’s Self-Generation Incentive Program – a rebate system aimed to encourage clean and efficient technologies.

The new storage effort falls in line with the California Public Utilities Commission’s goal to have 1.3 gigawatts of energy storage installed by the state’s three investor-owned utilities by 2024.

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