Project Owner
Compass Energy Storage LLC
Docket Number
San Juan Capistrano
Battery Storage System
Project Status
Under Review
Project Type
Project Description

Compass Energy Storage LLC proposes to construct, own, and operate an approximately 250-megawatt (MW) battery energy storage system (BESS) in the City of San Juan Capistrano. The approximately 13-acre project site is located within the northern portion of the City of San Juan Capistrano, adjacent to Camino Capistrano and Interstate-5 to the east. The BESS would be capable of storing up to 250 MW of electricity for four hours (up-to 1,000 MW hours). The proposed Compass Energy Storage Project (project) would be composed of lithium-iron phosphate batteries, or similar technology batteries, inverters, medium-voltage transformers, a switchyard, a collector substation, and other associated equipment to interconnect into the existing San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) Trabuco to Capistrano 138-kilovolt transmission line located approximately 500 feet from the project site and approximately 90 feet from the project property. The project would connect to the SDG&E electric transmission system via a proposed loop-in transmission line that would be constructed to transfer power to and from the proposed project. The loop-in transmission line would be supported by the replacement of two existing transmission poles and construction of one new transmission pole. Electric energy would be transferred from the existing power grid to the project batteries for storage and from the project batteries to the power grid when additional electricity is needed. No off-site transmission upgrades are required for the full capacity of this project, and an interconnection agreement with SDG&E and the California Independent System Operator has been implemented.  Following construction of the switchyard by Compass Energy Storage LLC, ownership and operations would transfer to SDG&E.

Opt-In Certification

Prior to the June 30, 2022, signing of Assembly Bill (AB) 205, the CEC’s powerplant licensing jurisdiction was limited to thermal powerplants 50 megawatts (MW) or larger. To accelerate the state’s transition to renewable energy and to maintain electrical system reliability under this transition and during extreme climate-change-driven events, AB 205, as modified by AB 209 expands the types of facilities that can be certified by the CEC. This “Opt-in” certification process is available to solar photovoltaic and terrestrial wind energy powerplants of 50 MW or more, energy storage facilities of 200 megawatt-hours (MWh) or more, the electric transmission lines from these facilities to the first point of interconnection, and facilities that manufacture or assemble clean energy or storage technologies or their components with a capital investment of at least $250 million. In addition, thermal powerplants of 50 MW or more that do not use fossil or nuclear fuels may choose the Opt-in process rather than the CEC’s Application for Certification process. AB 205 authorizes the CEC to accept applications for these facilities and provides a new, streamlined process for their review and a decision by the CEC. The CEC is the “lead agency” under the California Environmental Quality Act and is required to prepare an environmental impact report for any facility that elects to opt-in to the CEC’s jurisdiction. With exceptions, the issuance of a certificate by the CEC for an eligible facility is in lieu of any permit, certificate, or similar document required by any state, local, or regional agency, or federal agency to the extent permitted by federal law, and supersedes any applicable statute, ordinance, or regulation of any state, local, or regional agency, or federal agency to the extent permitted by federal law. The CEC’s authority under the opt-in certification program does not supersede the authority of the California State Lands Commission to require leases and receive lease revenues, if applicable, or the authority of the California Coastal Commission, the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, the State Water Resources Control Board or applicable regional water quality control board, or, in the case of manufacturing facilities, the applicable local air quality management district or the Department of Toxic Substances Control.


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Renee Longman
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