Partnership is the Name of the Game

Earlier this year, we unveiled two groundbreaking energy storage projects: one is the world’s largest lithium ion battery storage; the other is a flow battery pilot featuring vanadium redox technology.

Both projects are the result of collaboration with third-party vendors - AES Energy Storage and Sumitomo Electric, respectively.

As technology and the energy market continue to evolve, we believe partnerships with third parties is key to providing our customers with value-added services that go above and beyond delivering safe and reliable energy.

This week, our vice president of customer services, Scott Crider, participated in a panel discussion about the role of utilities and third-party vendors in providing value-added services. The panel was organized by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) as part of its Summer Policy Summit.

During the panel discussion, speakers talked about a wide range of value-added services that could be provided by traditional utilities and/or by third party companies. For example, energy efficiency improvements, microgrids, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and rooftop solar panels.

Innovative partnerships to advance emerging technologies

Some of the speakers believe traditional energy providers have an important role to play, especially when it comes to piloting emerging technologies that enhance customer service, such as energy storage solutions. Additionally, they believe utilities should help advance the adoption of new technologies, in cases where important policy objectives are at stake and where a market has not emerged for the technologies.

One prime example is electric vehicle charging infrastructure. While California has adopted transportation electrification as a major strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a market has not yet emerged to make EV charging stations widespread.

To facilitate California’s transition to clean transportation, we are stepping up to the plate by undertaking a major initiative, with the approval of the California Public Utilities Commission, to dramatically expand our region’s EV charging infrastructure. Through our Power Your Drive initiative, SDG&E is working to install 3,500 EV chargers at 350 apartment buildings, condo complexes, and businesses in the region. And we’re making sure that access to these clean-air vehicles is available for everyone, which is why a minimum of 10 percent of these chargers will be placed in disadvantaged communities.

All this is being done in partnership with third-party vendors. Vendors will be involved in everything from construction needed to install the chargers to manufacturing and servicing the chargers—value-added services that will help us improve customers lives.

Read more about our efforts in clean transportation here