Large-Scale Energy Storage

Large-scale energy storage projects are fast-starting, quick-ramping, high-capacity resources that can help balance peak loads and enhance clean-energy resources’ ability to meet the needs of the electric grid. Strategic bulk-storage investments will allow us to park surplus renewable energy for times of low supply, and provide flexibility to the grid without burning fossil fuels. CEERT vigorously advocates for large-scale storage at the CAISO and in CPUC procurement rulemakings.

Recent Developments:

CEERT has continued discussions with a wide variety of stakeholders interested in expanding bulk energy storage, but there continue to be significant barriers to the procurement of large-scale, long-duration storage projects. Weaknesses and faulty assumptions in the CPUC’s Integrated Resource Planning modeling have resulted in deferral of the need for new storage projects.

Two possible approaches are under discussion, including a legislative proposal to direct CAISO to file procurement plans for at least 2,000 MW of large-scale storage under the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC’s) storage-as-transmission-assets proceeding. Others object to that approach, and suggest instead that bulk storage be procured through a Central Procurement Entity, which has been proposed by the CPUC and included in the Governor’s strike force proposal and in new legislation.

CEERT remains concerned that continued uncertainty and delays in initiating a procurement process for large-scale storage will impede progress on reducing gas plant emissions and renewables curtailment.