The California Public Utilities Commission issued a proposed decision this week that will guide power companies towards an increased utilization of energy storage. The proposed framework lays out both a timeline and a set of goals that will, according to Energy Storage North America (ESNA), “jump start the market for energy storage solutions” in this country.
“This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for,” said Janice Lin, Managing Partner of Strategen Consulting and Chair of ESNA’s upcoming conference. (See Lin’s editorial in Triple Pundit here.)
The announcement comes just in time for the Energy Storage North America (ESNA) Conference and Expo 2013, at which CPUC Commissioner Carla Peterman, who authored the proposed decision, will be the keynote speaker. This will be the first conference in North America specifically focused on energy storage.
•The proposed framework outlines specific, year-by-year energy storage procurement targets for Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, and Pacific Gas and Electric. This is expected to generate some 1.325 gigawatts of energy storage capacity by 2020.
•The proposed targets are designed to increase between 30% and 55% every two years, creating a growing demand for storage.
•Specific functions are not mandated. Utilities are free to employ energy storage for anything from capacity, ancillary services, and peak shaving, which in turn will provide real-world data on performance benefits.
•Utilities will be required to procure at least 50% of the storage capacity from independent developers across all segments of the grid via existing procurement processes or “all-source” solicitations starting in 2014. This will help ensure diversity of supply and technology.
•The first solicitation for new energy storage capacity will be required to occur no later than December 1, 2014