BESS Installed at 2180 Johnson Avenue
New BESS Installation at 2180 Johnson Avenue

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for New Battery-Storage Units, San Luis Obispo

Author: Public Works
Date: 8/25/2022 8:30 AM

The switch has been flipped, bringing life to the first battery energy storage systems (BESS) installed at San Luis Obispo County government buildings – at zero cost to residents.

County leaders will be present to talk to the public directly following a ribbon-cutting event Tuesday, September 6, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. located at the site of one of the battery units, the County Health Agency Administration Building, 2180 Johnson Avenue in San Luis Obispo. Everyone is welcome.

BESS units were installed this summer at the County Public Health Department and Health Agency Administration building in San Luis Obispo. They will serve two primary purposes, banking up to 31 hours of electricity, which can be used during power outages, and also by providing energy during peak demand periods when PG&E grid electricity rates are highest and then recharging during off-peak periods when rates are lowest. Collectively, the two units are expected to save the County $800,000 over their predicted 20-year lifespan. That money will support community health programs.

“Not only is it good financially, but it’s good for the health of our community,” said Health Agency Director Nicholas Drews.

The BESS projects were developed by county Public Works staff with Tesla, Inc. and funded through the State of California Public Utilities Commission’s Self Generation Incentive Program. The program promotes the use of clean energy technologies through prioritizing incentives to install battery storage systems in communities situated in high fire-threat regions.

“The Public Works team is one that solves problems before they happen,” said Public Works Director John Diodati. “That forward-thinking approach defines the success of this BESS project. It not only makes our infrastructure more resilient but is also cost effective for the county taxpayer.”

Third District Supervisor Dawn Ortiz-Legg recognized staff’s forward-thinking efforts, “SLO County’s Public Works Department continues to take an active and integrated approach toward carbon reduction at our county facilities. With the new bank of Tesla batteries at the public health campus, the county takes a big step into the future, assuring delivery of energy with this 24/7 back up, which is very important for county’s health care operations.”

For more information about the BESS project, please contact Annie Secrest at [email protected]. For more information about the ribbon-cutting, please contact Paula McCambridge at [email protected].