Energy Storage Gets Big Boost in Los Angeles

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has told Southern California Edison it must procure at least 50 MW of capacity in the Los Angeles basin from energy storage resources.

The requirements comas as part of CPUC’s unanimous approved a long-term procurement decision ordering Southern California Edison to procure between 1,400 and 1,800 megawatts of energy resource capacity in the Los Angeles basin to meet long-term local capacity requirements by 2021.

Of this amount, at least 50 MW must come from energy storage resources, as well as up to an additional total of 600 MW of capacity to be procured from “preferred resources,” which include energy efficiency, demand response and distributed generation, consistent with the clean energy resource procurement priorities embodied in California’s Energy Action Plan.

The decision will have immediate impact as Southern California Edison is directed to file an application for each local reliability area seeking approval of contracts by late 2013 or early 2014.

Assembly Bill 2514 enacted in 2010, is widely hailed as landmark energy storage legislation for the nation. AB 2514 requires the CPUC to establish appropriate 2015 and 2020 energy storage procurement targets for California load serving entities, if cost effective and commercially viable by October 2013. Implementation of AB 2514 is already well underway at the CPUC via the Energy Storage Rulemaking (R.10-12-007).

“Required energy storage procurement under this decision provides a much needed market signal that energy storage will be considered as a key asset class to help California address its long term local reliability needs,” said Janice Lin, executive director of the California Energy Storage Alliance (CESA).

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