Storage alliance applauds new California laws to boost energy storage

The California Energy Storage Alliance (CESA) said Sept. 27 that it applauds the California State Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown for signing into law four new bills that directly impact energy storage.

Collectively, these bills will grow the behind-the-meter and utility-scale energy storage markets, create new clean energy jobs, reduce distributed energy resource interconnection challenges, and ensure that bulk energy storage is part of California’s renewable energy future, the alliance said. Gov. Brown signed these bills into law on Sept. 26:   

  • AB 1637 – Increases the Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) funding by $249 million, sending a market signal to industry stakeholders that behind-the-meter energy storage will play a key role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and supporting the next-generation electric grid. Thanks to the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) recent SGIP reforms, 75% of the program budget going forward is now reserved for energy storage, the allliance added.
  • AB 2868 – Requires the CPUC to direct California’s three investor-owned utilities (IOUs) to accelerate the deployment of distributed energy storage by filing applications for new programs and investments of up to 500 MW. This bill directly increases the market for energy storage in California, as the 500 MW is in addition to the 1.325 GW procurement goal that California established in 2013. 
  • AB 2861 – Authorizes the CPUC to create an objective, expedited dispute-resolution process for distributed, behind-the-meter energy resources attempting to establish an interconnection to an IOU’s electricity distribution network. This bill and resulting dispute resolution process will accelerate and reduce Rule 21 interconnection costs.
  • AB 33 – Directs the CPUC and California Energy Commission to evaluate and analyze the potential for all types of long duration bulk energy storage, such as pumped hydro, to help integrate renewable generation into the grid. This bill ensures broader consideration of bulk energy storage’s unique capabilities and market roles.

Said Janice Lin, Executive Director of the CESA and Chair of Energy Storage North America: "CESA is proud to have played a key role in these bills, which further enable energy storage to become a valued piece of the mainstream energy toolkit, mitigate unwarranted market or interconnection barriers, and allow bulk storage technologies to be appreciated as a solution to renewables integration."

The alliance is a membership-based advocacy group committed to advancing the role of energy storage in the electric power sector through policy, education, outreach, and research.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.