Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has awarded contracts to six energy storage projects to be built in the US state of California with a combined capacity of 165MW.

All the six selected energy storage projects are lithium ion battery projects. The first of these projects is slated to be commissioned in November 2020.

Enel through its subsidiaries has bagged three projects with a combined capacity of 85MW/340MWh. These include the 50 MW/200MWh Kingston, 25MW/100MWh Cascade and 10MW/40 MWh Sierra projects.

The Sierra storage project will be developed by Enel in partnership with IHI Power Services.

All the three energy storage projects are anticipated to begin operations by 2023, subject to local and regulatory approvals.

Enel global thermal generation head Enrico Viale said: “The signing of these agreements marks an important step forward in our Group’s plan to strengthen its presence in the energy storage market and expand this business in the US, and California in particular, which are at the forefront in the development of this market.

“Utility-scale storage applications are a key focus area for Enel in view of the great benefits they offer in terms of grid balancing and reliability.”

Other developers that have prevailed in the competitive solicitation process held by PG&E are EDF Renewable Energy’s Calstor with its 10MW battery storage project, LS Power’s Diablo Energy Storage with its 50MW project and Tesla with its 20MW project.

PG&E energy portfolio procurement and policy senior director Martin Wyspianski said: “As our clean energy portfolio grows, so does the importance of storage technology.

“These contracts and the storage capacity they represent will help us better integrate our growing renewable generation sources, and bring increased reliability to the grid. They are an important milestone in our progress toward a clean energy future.”

PG&E said that the selection of the projects was based on whether they could meet at least one of the three goals which are grid optimization, renewable energy integration and reduction of greenhouse gas.

The California-based electric utility is now seeking the review and approval of the project contracts from the California Public Utilities Commission.