California outlines roadmap for energy storage

Public agencies in California announced Jan. 8 a ‘roadmap’ to assess the current market environment and regulatory policies for connecting new energy storage technology to the state’s power grid.

It’s a joint effort by the California Independent System Operator (Cal ISO), the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the California Energy Commission (CEC) and more than 400 other stakeholders.

California already established itself as an early advocate of energy storage technology when in 2013 the state mandated that investor-owned utilities reach a combined target of 1,325 MW of energy storage to be online by 2024.

This is under Assembly Bill 2514 and the resulting CPUC decision for energy storage procurement targets for each of the investor owned utilities in the state.

California Gov. Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown Jr. recently announced a new renewable energy target of 50% by 2030 and energy storage is expected to play a key role in that effort to reduce greenhouse gases.

California has funded research to advance the effectiveness of energy storage. At the national level, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Order No. 792 provides clarity through its direction to transmission providers to define electric storage devices as generating facilities enabling these resources to take advantage of generator interconnection procedures.

Various federal funding incentives are also available, the state storage document notes.

Some of the energy storage technology methods being tested so far include batteries, flywheels, and compressed air, thermal and pumped hydropower.

“This [energy storage] technology harnesses energy generated by the sun during the day, wind gusts late in the afternoon, and energy from sources across the West,” according to the ‘roadmap’ document. “It stores it when consumption is low and puts it back onto the grid when needed at peak demand times or to compensate for unanticipated changes in renewable energy output.”

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.