California Utilities Swamped With Energy Storage Proposals

This can only be good news for advocates of a cleaner electricity sector:

California’s energy storage mandate calls for the state’s big three investor-owned utilities to procure 1.3 gigawatts of energy storage over the coming decade, with a first round of 200 megawatts to be awarded by the end of this year. But the rush of proposals is already overwhelming this target, according to state grid operator California ISO, which reported that more than 2,000 megawatts’ worth of storage projects had applied for grid interconnection as of last year.

As the article points out, most of these projects won’t be viable. Still, it’s good news that there is enough interest, product, and potential cost-competitiveness in the energy storage community to make these proposals. Given that the two Southern California investor-owned utilities are independently buying energy storage as part of a plan to replace the shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant and retiring natural gas plants, the energy storage market should continue to boom in California.

We’ll need this energy storage to meet peak energy demand, integrate variable renewables, and save ratepayers money while reducing pollution. Not a bad quadruple win for this most important clean technology area.


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