The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) this week set a target for California investor owned utilities to procure 1.325 GW of cost effective energy storage by 2020. The target, which is the largest of its kind worldwide, is set to increase California’s installed energy storage capacity six fold from its current 35 MW (excluding large-scale pumped hydro storage).
Some energy storage facilities are expected to come into service as early as 2015, meeting grid needs such as phasing out older power plants, deferring expensive transmission and distribution upgrades, and helping to integrate renewables. This multi-stakeholder process and final decision was set in motion by AB 2514 which became law in 2010. Under AB 2514, the CPUC was required to open a proceeding to consider developing energy storage procurement targets for California utilities to integrate grid-scale storage into the state’s electrical power system if determined to be viable and cost-effective.