Today San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) released its annual sustainability strategy update, highlighting what it has accomplished over the past year to help create a clean, resilient and equitable future, as well as outlining new and accelerated goals to help meet its pledge to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.
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“Over the past year, we spent a lot of time listening to a wide cross section of stakeholders so that we could incorporate their feedback into our long-term strategy to move our region closer to carbon neutrality,” said SDG&E CEO Caroline Winn. “We recognize we still have much work to do and that we can’t do it alone. Community partners who support and challenge us in our work to develop sustainability solutions are invaluable as we focus on strengthening climate equity and community resilience where we all call home.”
SDG&E’s new sustainability goals include:
- Operating a Zero Emissions Fleet by 2035
Recognizing the transportation sector is the single largest source of GHG emissions1, SDG&E seeks to operate a 100% zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) fleet by 2035 – five years ahead of the company’s original goal.
- Achieving Zero Net Energy Facilities by 2030
Buildings account for 25% of GHG emissions in the state2. As part of SDG&E’s work to ensure its own operations are sustainable, the company set a new goal to achieve zero net energy3 for all company-owned facilities in San Diego and southern Orange County.
- Piloting a Virtual Power Plant by 2022
In an effort to boost grid reliability, flexibility and resilience, SDG&E will accelerate its timeline to deliver a virtual power plant (VPP) by 2022, instead of 2025 as originally planned. This innovative demonstration project will integrate multiple types of customer-owned distributed energy resources (DER), including energy storage systems, into a planned renewable microgrid in Shelter Valley, a community in eastern San Diego County. The primary goal of the VPP is to coordinate the dispatch of customer DERs in concert with microgrid energy needs and allow those resources to be dispatched to the regional grid when supplies are tight. Results of the demonstration will inform future initiatives and grid management system needs.
SDG&E released a comprehensive sustainability strategy in October 2020, which included several aspirational goals. In the interest of accountability and transparency, the company committed to providing an annual update on its progress toward meeting its sustainability goals. Highlights of the company’s accomplishments over the past year include:
- Adding two energy storage facilities (totaling 50 MW) by year end and starting construction on a third
- Acquiring three large-scale mobile batteries, which can be deployed as backup power during emergencies
- Finishing construction of a renewable microgrid by year end to support a rural community in a high fire-threat area that is subject to Public Safety Power Shutoffs and starting construction on a second microgrid that will provide backup power to CAL FIRE and U.S. Forest Service aerial firefighting assets
- Helping launch a regional collaborative called Accelerate to Zero Emissions (A2Z) to align and attract public and private investment to expand the infrastructure necessary to support widespread adoption of electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles
- Completing a decade-long project to harden electrical infrastructure inside the Cleveland National Forest – replacing more than 2,300 wood poles with steel poles
- Issuing $750 million in green bonds to raise the capital needed to deliver some of the projects outlined in its sustainability strategy
To view SDG&E’s sustainability strategy update and learn more about its programs, visit sdge.com/sustainability.
SDG&E is an innovative San Diego-based energy company that provides clean, safe and reliable energy to better the lives of the people it serves in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The company is committed to creating a sustainable future by providing its electricity from renewable sources; modernizing natural gas pipelines; accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles; supporting numerous non-profit partners; and, investing in innovative technologies to ensure the reliable operation of the region’s infrastructure for generations to come. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE). For more information, visit SDGEnews.com or connect with SDG&E on Twitter (@SDGE), Instagram (@SDGE) and Facebook.
This press release contains statements that constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are based on assumptions with respect to the future, involve risks and uncertainties, and are not guarantees. Future results may differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements represent our estimates and assumptions only as of the date of this press release. We assume no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or other factors.
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Factors, among others, that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those described in any forward-looking statements include risks and uncertainties relating to: California wildfires, including the risks that we may be found liable for damages regardless of fault and that we may not be able to recover costs from insurance, the wildfire fund established by California Assembly Bill 1054 or in rates from customers; decisions, investigations, regulations, issuances or revocations of permits and other authorizations, renewals of franchises, and other actions by (i) the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and other regulatory and governmental bodies and (ii) states, counties, cities and other jurisdictions in the U.S. in which we do business; the success of business development efforts and construction projects, including risks in (i) completing construction projects or other transactions on schedule and budget, (ii) the ability to realize anticipated benefits from any of these efforts if completed, and (iii) obtaining the consent of partners or other third parties; the resolution of civil and criminal litigation, regulatory inquiries, investigations and proceedings, and arbitrations; actions by credit rating agencies to downgrade our credit ratings or to place those ratings on negative outlook and our ability to borrow on favorable terms and meet our substantial debt service obligations; actions to reduce or eliminate reliance on natural gas, including any deterioration of or increased uncertainty in the political or regulatory environment for local natural gas distribution companies operating in California; weather, natural disasters, pandemics, accidents, equipment failures, explosions, acts of terrorism, information system outages or other events that disrupt our operations, damage our facilities and systems, cause the release of harmful materials, cause fires or subject us to liability for property damage or personal injuries, fines and penalties, some of which may not be covered by insurance, may be disputed by insurers or may otherwise not be recoverable through regulatory mechanisms or may impact our ability to obtain satisfactory levels of affordable insurance; the availability of electric power and natural gas and natural gas storage capacity, including disruptions caused by failures in the transmission grid or limitations on the withdrawal of natural gas from storage facilities; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on capital projects, regulatory approvals and the execution of our operations; cybersecurity threats to the energy grid, storage and pipeline infrastructure, information and systems used to operate our businesses, and confidentiality of our proprietary information and personal information of our customers and employees, including ransomware attacks on our systems and the systems of third-party vendors and other parties with which we conduct business; the impact on competitive customer rates and reliability due to the growth in distributed and local power generation, including from departing retail load resulting from customers transferring to Direct Access and Community Choice Aggregation, and the risk of nonrecovery for stranded assets and contractual obligations; volatility in inflation and interest rates and commodity prices and our ability to effectively hedge these risks; changes in tax and trade policies, laws and regulations, including tariffs and revisions to international trade agreements that may increase our costs, reduce our competitiveness, or impair our ability to resolve trade disputes; and other uncertainties, some of which may be difficult to predict and are beyond our control.
These risks and uncertainties are further discussed in the reports that the company has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These reports are available through the EDGAR system free-of-charge on the SEC’s website, www.sec.gov, and on Sempra’s website, www.sempra.com. Investors should not rely unduly on any forward-looking statements.
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Sempra Infrastructure, Sempra LNG, Sempra Mexico, Sempra Texas Utilities, Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC (Oncor) and Infraestructura Energética Nova, S.A.B. de C.V. (IEnova) are not the same companies as the California utilities, San Diego Gas & Electric Company or Southern California Gas Company, and Sempra Infrastructure, Sempra LNG, Sempra Mexico, Sempra Texas Utilities, Oncor and IEnova are not regulated by the CPUC.
1 Caltrans Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Mitigation Report, published Aug. 2020
2 California Air Resource Board (CARB)
3 California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) definition of Zero Net Energy