For Immediate Release: January 21, 2022

SMUD unveils first large utility-scale battery storage

Installation supports transition to zero carbon

On Monday, SMUD will unveil six large-scale lithium-ion battery storage units at the Hedge Solar Farm in south Sacramento, a pilot project that will demonstrate the feasibility of utility-scale battery storage.

The large-scale lithium-ion battery system is a step forward in SMUD’s vision to add 1,100 megawatts (MW) of battery storage over the next decade, a keystone to the 2030 Zero Carbon Plan, which will eliminate all carbon emissions from the power supply, create new job and training opportunities, support green technology initiatives at all levels and leave no community behind.

What: Ribbon cutting for Hedge Solar Farm utility-scale battery storage system 
When: Monday, January 24, 2022 at 9:00 a.m.
Where: Sacramento Power Academy, 9268 Tokay Lane, Sacramento, CA 95829
Who: SMUD CEO and General Manager Paul Lau
Congresswoman Doris Matsui 
SMUD Board of Directors Vice President Heidi Sanborn
Sacramento Mayor Darrel Steinberg
Sacramento Councilman Eric Guerra
California Assemblymember Kevin McCarty
California Assemblymember Ken Cooley
Matthew Nelson of Electrify America
John Roeser of Mitsubishi

“Beyond the hands-on experience of constructing, integrating and operating a storage system at utility scale, this project is also the start of a technology leap in dispatchable clean power, which is central to SMUD’s 2030 Zero Carbon Plan,” said SMUD CEO and General Manager Paul Lau. “SMUD envisions an energy future that lets us capture, store and then dispatch renewable sources such as solar and wind at minimal financial and environmental costs. Utility, commercial and residential storage technologies will balance energy resources and significantly contribute to an energy future that’s free of carbon emissions, resistant to the impacts of climate change and protective of the environment.”

Hedge Solar Farm batteries act like a sponge and can absorb energy generation during non-peak periods of the day or when there’s an abundance of sunlight or wind. Then, the system can discharge electricity into the grid when it’s needed the most. Hedge Solar Farm batteries will provide 4 MW of electricity and 8 megawatt-hours of storage – enough to power 800 homes for two hours with clean renewable energy that can be tapped when other energy resources are strained. The six battery containers are 20 feet long, weigh 52,000 pounds each, and house 3,840 interconnected battery cells.
This is the largest battery installation in the greater Sacramento area and the first of its kind for a publicly owned utility in California.

Other technologies such as long-duration energy storage, clean alternative fuels and carbon sequestration, along with customer interactions through virtual power plants and load flexibility programs, will usher in a new chapter of carbon-free energy services for the entire region.

About SMUD

As the nation’s sixth-largest, community-owned, not-for-profit electric service provider, SMUD has been providing low-cost, reliable electricity to Sacramento County for more than 75 years. SMUD is a recognized industry leader and award winner for its innovative energy efficiency programs, renewable power technologies and for its sustainable solutions for a healthier environment. In 2020, SMUD’s power supply was more than 60 percent carbon free, and SMUD has a goal to reach zero carbon in its electricity supply by 2030.