Grid Modernization at Southern California Edison
We're modernizing the grid to support California's transition to a clean and sustainable future.
What is Changing?
Over the last century, we have delivered power from large, centralized power sources to customers, requiring only a one-way power flow. In the future, however, we will deliver power from many sources, including solar panels on rooftops or customer-owned batteries, requiring a grid that supports two-way power flow.
At the same time, we will increase the capacity of our distribution system to support an increased number of electric vehicles on California’s roads.
FACTS AT A GLANCE
CA 2030 RENEWABLE GOAL
CA 2025 ELECTRIC VEHICLE GOAL
CA 2024 ENERGY STORAGE GOAL
CA 2030 ENERGY EFFICIENCY GOAL
Technologies For The Grid Of The Future
SCE is modernizing the grid to support the continued growth and integration of key environmental technologies, referred to collectively as Distributed Energy Resources, or DERs. The five DERs in the SCE grid modernization plan are:
- Distributed renewable generation resources: Solar power generated from rooftop solar panels or other energy sources on the customer end of the power grid.
- Energy efficiency: Reduced demand for energy accomplished by improving the energy efficiency of homes and workplaces through improved lighting, smarter appliances and better insulation.
- Energy storage: Batteries that can be charged during off-peak times, such as mornings, and then discharged during peak times, such as hot afternoons, to reduce peak energy needs.
- Electric vehicles: Plug-in cars and other innovative vehicles that will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
- Demand response: SCE’s Summer Advantage Incentive and similar programs that give customers incentives to reduce the use of electricity at peak times.
Investing In The Distribution Grid
Our main investment goal is to increase power reliability through significant upgrades. The investments include:
- Upgrading cables, poles, switches and transformers
- Updating the grid so it can accommodate new technologies, such as smart inverters that will allow for the two-way flow of solar energy
- Adapting the power system to accommodate future California policy related to energy storage, electric transportation and renewable energy
- Providing enhanced automation and monitoring devices to allow us to better respond to changes on the grid.
Much of the SCE’s currently planned grid modernization work will take place on the distribution system, which is distinct from the transmission system. The transmission system brings power from generating stations to distribution substations through high voltage transmission lines, which are usually strung between large transmission towers. The distribution system begins at these substations. From here, the electricity flows through lower voltage distribution lines (above or below ground) on distribution circuits to customer locations.
Roadmap To The Future
The Distribution Resources Plan is our roadmap to the energy future. The plan is based on five key guiding principles:
- Ensure a safe, reliable and resilient power network
- Promote customer choice of new technologies
- Provide affordable and equitable costs of electric service
- Use competition in purchasing clean-energy resources
- Reduce greenhouse gases
The plan was filed with the California Public Utilities Committee on July 1, 2015, and is publicly available.