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New 'Top Gun' Miramar electricity storage facility could help prevent Flex Alerts, blackouts

Posted at 5:39 PM, Jul 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-07 20:38:59-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A new SDG&E electricity storage facility in Miramar, called "Top Gun," could help prevent Flex Alerts and rolling blackouts, according to energy officials.

The facility, which consists of thousands of lithium-ion batteries, is designed to take energy from the grid when it's available and store it for later. According to SDG&E, it has the capability to power roughly 40,000 homes for four hours.

The president of California Independent System Operator (ISO), Elliot Mainzer, toured the "Top Gun" facility during a visit Wednesday morning. He says it's exactly the kind of facility that could help prevent flex alerts when Californians are asked to reduce power to deal with high demand.

Cal-ISO has already issued two flex alerts this summer.

Last August, California dealt with a pair of rolling blackouts during a heatwave. Officials are hoping to avoid that by creating more ways to store energy.

"Five years ago we weren't even thinking you could store electricity and now we're proving that it's a necessity as we're all moving to this clean energy transition," said SDG&E CEO Caroline Winn.

Mainzer says in addition to more reserves, the consumer also plays a pivotal role in avoiding blackouts.

"The customer conservation honestly is gonna be the single biggest variable this summer between whether or not we're able to avoid rolling outages," Mainzer said.