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:

The CPUC included 1,000 MW of long-duration storage (LDS) in the proposed midterm reliability procurement and in the recent updated generation portfolios for the transmission planning process, even though the original RESOLVE model didn’t include LDS in the Integrated Resource Planning process. The response from LDS developers was mixed, because of the relatively short time frame in which these projects would be procured (2025-26). Projects with longer lead times, such as pumped hydro, will be difficult to bring online by that time, especially given the uncertainty around which load-serving entities will actually be doing the procurement; in general, the problem remains that large-scale LDS projects will need multiple off-takers, which will make procurement and financing of the projects difficult. Developers of other long-duration storage technologies are more optimistic and believe they can meet the deadlines.

The May revisions to the Governor’s budget included $350 million for the CEC that is expected to help support demonstration projects for advanced LDS technologies.