Energy storage has been determined to be an essential component to achieving California’s clean energy goals. Towards this end, the state has become the first US state to introduce a storage mandate. [Engerati-California's Energy Storage Mandate-Will Others Follow?]
But regulatory and policy challenges and barriers remain, which may prevent storage to achieve its full potential. In order to address these, the state’s energy authorities – California Energy Commission (CEC), California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and California Independent System Operator (ISO) – have launched a roadmap process with the consultancy DNV GL in partnership with Olivine, Inc.
Following a survey of stakeholders, a draft roadmap is now available, which will be subject to discussion, prior to the completion of the final roadmap by the end of the year.
Barriers to energy storage in California
The draft roadmap identifies 12 barriers to energy storage in California.
Actions to advance revenue opportunities
● Defining and communicating grid needs (both transmission and distribution) will clarify gaps in existing markets and help identify new products
● Clarify existing wholesale market product opportunities for storage
● Refine existing and add new wholesale market products to meet grid needs
● Identify gaps in rate treatment and identify existing rules that could address issues
● Define multiple-use applications of storage to facilitate development of models and rules
● Determine hybrid storage configurations to enable prioritization and development of requirements
● Assess existing methodologies for evaluating storage and identify or develop a preferred common methodology.
Actions targeted at cost reduction
● Review metering requirements for opportunities to reduce costs
● Review telemetry requirements for opportunities to reduce costs
● Assess codes and standards to identify gaps and best practices
● Review interconnection process for small distribution-connected resources to reduce costs.
Actions focused on process and timing improvement
● Clarify interconnection processes to make it predictable and transparent.
The draft roadmap notes the importance of sequencing the actions right in order to minimize delays, and also to focus on the storage configurations that are currently under development or proposed and thus most likely to be part of the first wave of storage coming online. The final roadmap will include examples of specific storage configurations and identify how the actions address the barriers for these.
Storage development in California
The California PUC storage mandate is for 1,325MW by 2020, with installations required no later than by the end of 2024. It is anticipated the three investor-owned utilities, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison Company (SCE), and San Diego Gas and Electric Company (SDG&E), will issue requests for offers (RFOs) by the end of this year to procure their initial portions of this requirement.
The order has also had the effect of triggering a significant amount of energy storage interconnection requests in the California ISO’s recent (Cluster 7) generation interconnection application window that closed on April 30, 2014. In total, the ISO received interconnection requests for over 2,300MW of energy storage. This consisted of approximately 1,342MW of stand-alone storage (27 projects) and approximately 978MW of storage combined with generation (12 projects).
The development of California’s energy storage policy has been supported by research with funding from the Energy Commission. This includes projects under the PIER program to examine the cost-effectiveness of energy storage. The Energy Commission has also funded a number of demonstration projects, such as the solar and storage integration demonstration for Alameda County jail, as well as efforts to advance modeling and evaluation practices for energy storage, such as the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s study on using high speed computing to determine the need for and value of storage in California.
Other current storage projects in California include SCE’s demonstration of a 32MWh battery storage system with support from ARRA funding, and a 2.5MW, 5MWh lithium-ion installation in the University of California’s San Diego microgrid. [Engerati-Largest Battery Energy Storage Project in North America and New Li-ion Battery Storage for San Diego Microgrid]