For Immediate Release: September 23, 2011
Media Contact: Sandy Louey - 916-654-4989


Energy Commission Awards SDG&E $1.2 Million for Research
Plug-in electric vehicles and energy storage

SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission has awarded $1,219,350 to San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) for projects to accelerate research on plug-in electric vehicles and energy storage.

One project will evaluate the impact of charging plug-in electric vehicles on the state's grid. The other will help determine the best energy storage locations for mitigating the impacts of groups of residential renewable generators such as wind and solar photovoltaics. Funding for the projects comes from the Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program.

"These two projects address California's key policy goals - enabling renewable energy through effective storage and assessing the impact of charging plug-in electric vehicles on the electricity grid," said Energy Commission Vice Chair James Boyd. "As we prepare for the growing number of electric vehicles in California, the Energy Commission continues to demonstrate its commitment to investing in meaningful public interest energy research that benefits all Californians."

"Maintaining California's leadership role as a national leader in renewable energy is a direct result of the Commission's funding innovative projects such as these," Boyd added.

SDG&E will receive $680,000 to design and assemble a plug-in electric vehicle simulator. The project will simulate load and power quality effects of multiple plug-in electric vehicles charging to determine the impact on grid performance and operation. The project will also demonstrate an approach to charging plug-in vehicles that integrates renewable generation, energy storage and smart charging to show that grid performance, reliability and power quality can be maintained even with substantial plug-in vehicle charging loads.

The $539,350 for the second project will be used to determine the best location for energy storage to maximize the effectiveness with groups of residential renewable generators - whether at the substation or on the low-voltage side of the distribution transformer. The project will test the operation of the energy storage units and evaluate their effectiveness in responding to voltage and current fluctuations experienced by the distribution feeder.

The Public Interest Energy Research program supports public interest research and development that helps improve the quality of life in California by bringing environmentally safe, reliable, and affordable energy services and products to the marketplace. For more information, visit

Created by the California Legislature in 1974, the California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. The Energy Commission has five major responsibilities: forecasting future energy needs and keeping historical energy data; licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts or larger; promoting energy efficiency through appliance and building standards; developing energy technologies and supporting renewable energy; and planning for and directing state response to energy emergencies.

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