San Diego CA— On Wednesday, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) was awarded the 2016 ReliabilityOne™ Award for Outstanding Reliability Performance among utilities in the western United States and Canada for the 11th straight year by PA Consulting Group. The ReliabilityOne™ Awards are given annually to the utilities that have excelled in delivering the most reliable electric service to their customers.
“Reliability” means that electricity is available when you need it, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, but best in class reliability doesn’t happen by accident. Maintaining award-winning reliability is the foundation of SDG&E’s day-to-day operations, which means continually working to lower the number and duration of power outages our customers experience. Twenty years ago, on average, a customer experienced about one power outage a year with an average outage lasting an hour and a half. Today, due to advanced improvements on our power grid, a customer on average experiences about one power outage every other year lasting less than 60 minutes.
“Receiving this award as this year’s host utility is such a humbling honor, and I’m thrilled to share this remarkable milestone with each and every SDG&E employee who contributed to this accomplishment,” said John Sowers, vice president of electric distribution for SDG&E. “Our priority is to better the lives of our customers and earning this award tonight is a testament to all the work that we’ve done to improve our ‘best in class’ reliable service.”
Some of SDG&E’s most innovative technology and reliability enhancements include:
- Investing in battery storage: As part of SDG&E’s ongoing efforts to lead in clean energy, the company is now constructing the largest battery energy storage project in America. At 30-megawatts (MW), SDG&E’s Escondido project will have the ability to store enough energy to power approximately 20,000 homes, for up to four hours (120MWh). With approximately 100 MW of storage completed or contracted, SDG&E is a national leader in developing energy storage for the benefit of our customers and the environment.
- Adopting new technology: Advanced testing of Unmanned Aircraft Systems to patrol and inspect electric facilities when outages occur. By leveraging this technology, SDG&E will be able to safely inspect power lines that are off-limits to helicopters or difficult to access by roadways.
- Automated smart grid: By creating a more automated electric grid, SDG&E has been able to reduce the number of customers impacted per outage. In many cases, the grid is able to use real-time information to “heal” itself remotely or sense problems before they occur.
- Supporting rooftop solar: Integrating many forms of renewable energy is a priority at SDG&E and helps ensure a balanced mix of energy for our customers. Since last year, SDG&E has helped connect more than 100,000 private rooftop solar systems to the power grid – increasing our solar connections by more than 30 percent over the last year. Solar connections are helping SDG&E in developing a dynamic, innovative and resilient grid that can enable the sustainable growth of renewable energy and other technologies as our customers chose to adopt them.
- Evaluating climate change: SDG&E’s team of Meteorologists continue to collaborate with universities and weather experts to evaluate the impacts of climate change and improve climate resiliency in order to protect critical infrastructure in the wildfire-prone Southern California.
“Technology and innovation can take electric customers’ reliability experience to entirely new levels,” said Derek HasBrouck, PA Consulting Group’s ReliabilityOne™ Program Director.
“Clearly, SDG&E leads the electric industry in applying new technologies to benefit customers and demonstrating how innovation can be implemented across the organization to deliver the promise of technology to customers today.”
SDG&E is an innovative San Diego-based energy company that provides safe, reliable, clean energy to better the lives of the people it serves in San Diego and southern Orange counties. More than 4,300 employees work to provide the most reliable and clean energy in the West. The company has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for leadership in addressing climate change, was the first to meet California’s goal of delivering 33 percent of energy from renewable sources, has fueled the adoption of electric vehicles and energy efficiency through unique customer programs, and supports more than 600 non-profit partners. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information visit sdge.com/newsroom or connect with SDG&E on Twitter (@SDGE), Instagram (@SDGE) and Facebook.
About PA Consulting Group
An independent firm of over 2,600 people, we operate globally from offices across the Americas, Europe, the Nordics, the Gulf and Asia Pacific. We are experts in consumer and manufacturing, defense and security, energy and utilities, financial services, government, healthcare, life sciences, and transport, travel and logistics. Our deep industry knowledge together with skills in management consulting, technology and innovation allows us to challenge conventional thinking and deliver exceptional results that have a lasting impact on businesses, governments and communities worldwide. Our clients choose us because we don’t just believe in making a difference. We believe in making the difference. For more information about PA Consulting Group, visit www.paconsulting.com. PA’s ReliabilityOne™ awards are presented to electric utilities providing their customers with the highest levels of reliability in the industry. PA’s ReliabilityOne™ study is based on standard industry reliability statistics that measure the frequency and duration of electric power outages and has been analyzing electric utility performance since 1987. For more information about PA Consulting Group, visit www.paconsulting.com/energy.