1,325MW energy storage target proposed for California by 2020


Carla Peterman,
California PUC
San Francisco, CA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — September 13, 2013 – A 1,325 MW energy storage target for procurement by California’s three investor-owned utilities by 2020 has been proposed by Public Utilities Commissioner Carla Peterman in a Proposed Decision paper last week.

This is comprised of 580 MW for each of Pacific Gas and Electric and Southern California Edison, and 165 MW for San Diego Gas & Electric. The first procurements – of 90 MW by PG&E and SCE and 20 MW by SDG&E – would be in December 2014, for which proposals must be filed by January 1, 2014.

Further electric service providers shall procure energy storage equal to 1 percent of their annual peak load by 2016, and community choice aggregators shall procure energy storage equal to 1 percent of their annual peak load by 2020, and.

The proposed decision paper, which follows comment on earlier proposals, states that the energy storage procurement policy is guided by three purposes:

  1. The optimization of the grid, including peak reduction, contribution to reliability needs, or deferment of transmission and distribution upgrade investments
  2. The integration of renewable energy, and
  3. The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, per California’s goals.

In order to allow multiple ownership models the storage targets are divided between three domains – transmission-connected (e.g. concentrated solar power, wind/energy storage, gas fired generation/thermal energy storage, ancillary services, voltage support), distribution-connected (e.g. substation energy storage, distributed generation/energy storage, distributed peaker) and behind-the-meter (e.g. bill management/permanent load shifting, power quality, electric vehicle charging).

Further, planned projects may count towards the targets. These include:

  • SCE – at least 50 MW of energy storage and the energy storage portion of other generation resources that are procured to meet local reliability needs in the Western Los Angeles basin, the 8 MW Tehachapi Wind Energy Storage Project, and the Department of Defense vehicle-to-grid electric fleet project at the Los Angeles Air Force Base
  • PG&E – the power purchase agreement with Rice Solar for a solar thermal generation project paired with molten salt storage, and the Vaca-Dixon and Yerba Buena battery projects
  • SDG&E – the Borrego Springs microgrid project, and up to 44.6 MW of distribution system storage approved in Sempra’s general rate case application.

The three utilities will also be required to collectively fund an annual budget of approximately $500,000 for evaluation and analysis of the program by the PUC.

The proposed decision will be reviewed by the Commission on or after October 3.