2022 Year in review
We proudly unveiled 6 utility-scale lithium-ion battery storage units at our Sacramento Power Academy training facility in South Sacramento. The system provides 4 megawatts of electricity and 8 megawatt-hours of storage – enough to power 800 homes for 2 hours with clean renewable energy that can be tapped when other energy resources are strained. The pilot project will prove the feasibility of utility-scale battery storage at SMUD and allow us to train our employees on this critical technology, which will help us continue to provide our customers and community with reliable, clean energy solutions when the sun’s not shining.
SMUD again made the Forbes list of America’s best midsize employers, ranking 15th overall. More than 60,000 employees across the nation, from businesses with at least 1,000 employees, took part in the independent survey. The list ranks the 500 midsize employers that received the most recommendations.
Thanks to SMUD’s proven track record in environmental leadership, our great customer service and vision for a carbon-free power supply by 2030, we became the first utility to receive certification as a J.D. Power Certified Sustainability Leader. The new designation program recognizes electric utilities that provide superior customer engagement, awareness and advocacy for its climate sustainability goals.
In partnership with the California Mobility Center (CMC), the maker of the truck, Zeus Electric Chassis, Inc., brought the all-electric prototype truck to the CMC for an up-close look at the cutting-edge design and technology that is slated to join the SMUD fleet in 2024. SMUD’s fleet team helped design the vehicle specifications that Zeus will fabricate at their facility in Minnesota. These trucks will be customized for a variety of uses throughout our Fleet and service territory.
For the fifth time in SMUD’s history, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted SMUD a patent. It was for innovative software called PRECISE, which stands for Preconfiguring and Controlling Inverter Set points, was developed through a partnership between our Research & Development team and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. After internal testing, it was incorporated into our solar installation process. This helps get more solar power into our grid while maximizing grid stability. This innovation will result in substantial savings for SMUD and our customers who go solar to help us meet our 2030 Zero Carbon Plan goals.
We released our Diversity Equity, inclusion & Belonging (DEIB) strategy to continue to build a workplace and culture internally at SMUD and in the community that allows all people to be their authentic selves and feel they truly belong. SMUD has grown to make DEIB part of everything we do, with measurable goals to track progress. With a DEIB strategy in place, the framework and priorities are clearly defined so everyone can actively participate in making a difference and mindfully incorporate DEIB into every decision at SMUD.
After 2.5 years, most employees who had been working remotely due to the pandemic began to return to work at SMUD campuses, either full-time or in a hybrid schedule. The senior leadership team returned in March and paved the way for a safe and phased return of employees, making sure all processes were in place first. The transition was focused on safety and was a robust, cross-functional effort that successfully reengaged these employees post-pandemic and reshaped what the new normal looks like at SMUD.
SMUD launched our Managed Electric Vehicle (EV) Smart Charging Pilot in collaboration with BMW of North America, Ford and General Motors. The pilot will help EV customers align their charging to the time of day when it’s most affordable, which also benefits the grid.
Multiple 100+ degree days in a row and the hottest day ever slammed Sacramento in September. Despite a historic heatwave and constrained power supplies across the west, we kept the lights on across our service territory. By engaging our customers to reduce their energy usage, we remained reliable for our customers as well as partnering with the Governor’s Office, California Energy Commission, and California Independent System Operator (CAISO) to help the State avoid rotating outages.
SMUD’s Meet the Buyers and Business Resource Expo was back in a hybrid format. Hosted by our Supplier Education & Economic Development program (SEED), nearly 400 participants from local small businesses connected with us to gain valuable networking opportunities, participate in business education workshops and receive timely information about how to contract with SMUD. In 2022 alone, we awarded $102 million in contracts to local small businesses through our SEED program.
SMUD and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento marked the completion of an all-electric,13-home development in an under-resourced community. This was an important milestone both for our partnership and for our building electrification goals.
After nearly 2.5 years of construction, SMUD flipped the switch at Station G, connecting our newest bulk substation to the grid. The cutover to Station G signifies a big milestone for SMUD, our customers and the community. This was a big step forward for grid reliability and resiliency, allowing us to meet the energy needs of our expanding customer base.