California’s push to 33% renewable energy by 2020 requires vastly more energy storage. In a first step, the state is requiring 1.3 GW of storage by utilities, customers, and third parties, also by 2020. Hmm, the plan seems mighty convoluted to me, imposes more regulation in a state already overburdened with rules, and 1.3 GW isn’t really all that much. However, due to the unpredictability of renewable energy generation, stored energy is absolutely needed.
[The California Public Utility Commissions seeks] to establish a regulatory regime in which utilities, third-party storage providers, and even customer-owned storage assets can play an integrated role. Those include rules that would limit utilities from owning more than 50 percent of the total amount of energy storage to be procured across the three “grid domains” of transmission, distribution, and customer-located storage.