With a newly published goal of of being able to store more than 1.3 gigawatts of energy by 2020, California has once again become a world leader in the transition to a clean energy economy.
The California Public Utilities Commission yesterday embraced the nation’s first energy storage mandate, which requires the state’s three major utilities — PG&E, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric — to buy a total of 1.325 gigawatts of energy storage capacity by the end of 2020.
“The decision lays out an energy storage procurement policy guided by three principles: optimization of the grid, integration of renewable energy and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” Commissioner Carla Peterman told told the San Jose Mercury News.
Energy storage technologies are one of the critical technologies necessary to further spur the rate renewable energy adoption such as home solar systems. Because wind and sun are intermittent sources of energy, developing affordable and reliable ways to store the energy they produce for later use will help expand the viability of renewables for both residential and commercial purposes.
Last month, we covered some of the companies that are leading the charge for home solar storage. We noted in part that:
Among those leading the charge is San Mateo, Calif.-based, solar installer SolarCity. The company has partnered with Tesla Motors to utilize the electric vehicle maker’s battery technology.
SolarCity is currently installing a 10 kilowatt-hour battery pack storage system through its pilot program in California. The system has a maximum power output of 5 kilowatts.
The company expects to have the first 100 systems installed by the end of the year, said Eric Carlson, senior director of grid system integration for SolarCity.
Yesterday’s energy-storage mandate is sure to enable great progress in energy storage innovation.
“The CPUC’s decision to ensure storage capacity will increase the reliability of our electrical grid and optimise solar, wind and other renewable resources,” state Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, author of the legislation, told PV-tech. “This decision makes our state the global leader in energy storage, spurring innovation and creating jobs across California.”
Battery photo CC-licensed by Wikimedia user Lead Holder.
By Matthew Wheeland