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California's new hybrid power system

Christopher Weber / AP

A California utility launched a hybrid power system designed to help power California through the summer when demand spikes, per the AP. Southern California Edison and GE made the announcement Monday. They say the units went live in March.

Potential benefits: Officials say the system will lower costs for both operations and customers, and will be useful in areas that tend to rely on renewable energy systems that need backups.

How it works: The system operates on a 10 megawatt lithium-ion battery energy storage system and works somewhat like a hybrid car, switching as needed to the gas turbine.

The California trend: California has a strong pipeline of other projects that transfer batteries into electric power generating units, such as Tesla's operation in Southern California that absorbs electricity during the day and injects it back into the grid when needed.