California Considers Mandated Grid Storage  

Posted by Big Gav in

EcoGeek reports that California is considering mandating utilities provide a level of energy storage embedded within the grid - California Considers Mandated Grid Storage.

Legislators in California have introduced a bill that would require electric utilities to provide grid-scale energy storage in their operations. The bill would call for a capacity of 2.25% of daytime peak demand by 2014 and 5% of peak demand by 2020.

A variety of technologies could be included in the mix to provide grid energy storage, including pumped storage hydro, compressed air storage, utility-scale batteries, and flywheel storage systems.

This may have the indirect effect of encouraging the utilities to promote efficiency measures and to encourage load shifting, in order to lower the amount of storage that would be required.

1 comments

California already has about 3,000 MW of pump-up hydro and at least one other installation is in the process.

We've also got a lot of dams which can't run a full output year around as electricity producers because the snow pack that would normally feed them is going away. Even "back then" outputs dropped in the late summer as reservoir levels fell.

The dams with which I am familiar have nice large forebays or overspill safety areas which could be converted into lower reservoirs. Switching their turbines out for turbine/pump combos would turn them into storage facilities.

One of the utility companies (PG&E) is in the process of creating a CAES (compressed air energy storage) facility which should be on line by 2014.

Additionally some of the mandatory storage may be met by using ice/cold brine to lower air conditioning energy requirements on hot afternoons.

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