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California Signs Four Bills to Boost Energy Storage Growth

30 September 2016

The California State Legislature and Governor Jerry Brown have signed into law four bills that will help to grow the behind-the-meter and utility-scale energy-storage markets.

The bills will help to create new clean energy jobs, change how energy in the state is distributed and ensure that energy storage will be part of California’s overall renewable energy future, the government says.

The bill AB 1637 will increase Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) funding by $249 million, which will support using energy storage as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity grid. Recent changes to the SGIP by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) means 75% of the program’s budget will now be reserved for energy storage.

The bill AB 2868 requires the CPUC to direct California investor-owned utilities to accelerate the deployment of energy storage with investments of up to 500 megawatts. This increase is in addition to the 1.325 gigawatt procurement goal California established in 2013 for energy storage.

The bill AB 2861 will authorize the CPUC to create a dispute-resolution process for behind-the-meter resources for investor-owned utilities, accelerating the process and reducing interconnection costs.

Finally, AB 33 will allow the CPUC and California Energy Commission to evaluate and analyze the potential for all types of long-duration bulk energy storage, such as pumped hydro, in order to integrate renewable energy into the grid.

To contact the author of this article, email Peter.Brown@ieeeglobalspec.com


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