Facing stricter climate goals, California passes 4 bills to boost energy storage
- California lawmakers have passed four bills designed to ramp up the state's use of energy storage, expanding on a mandate in place for utilities and doubling the Self-Generation Incentive Program, which supports behind-the-meter technologies.
- The bills are now in front of California Gov. Jerry Brown (D), who has pressed the state to slash its greenhouse gas emissions and bolster its carbon-free resources. Storage is expected to play an important role in meeting the state's 50% renewable energy mandate and a newly-passed goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions 40% from 1990 levels by 2030, which Brown is expected to sign.
- In 2013 the California Public Utilities Commission enacted the nation's first energy storage mandate, directing investor-owned utilities to buy 1.325 GW by 2020, and state regulators this year called for rapid storage deployment in the Los Angeles basin due to a natural gas shortage there.
As the California legislative session wound down, lawmakers voted on four separate bills aimed at giving a boost to energy storage.
AB 33 directs the CPUC to consider large-scale storage, specifically pumped hydro. The bill comes after the California ISO identified a need for fast-ramping, flexible resources to balance the grid and mitigate the potential impacts of over-generation from renewables.
In either a new or existing proceeding, the law would direct regulators to "assess the potential costs and benefits of all types of long duration bulk energy storage resources, including impacts to the transmission and distribution systems of location-specific long duration bulk energy storage resources."
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