California To Develop Utility Energy Storage Requirements

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On September 29, 2010, Governor Schwarzenegger signed into law California AB 2514, which initiates a regulatory proceeding that may require utility companies within California to meet a portion of their total load through energy storage.

AB 2514 requires the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to initiate a proceeding no later than March 1, 2012, in order to determine if procurement targets for energy storage systems are appropriate for the utilities subject to its jurisdiction. If such targets are found to be appropriate, the CPUC is to adopt procurement targets for December 31, 2015, and December 31, 2020. These targets are to be announced by October 1, 2013. The bill imposes similar obligations on the boards of publicly owned electric utilities.

For purposes of AB 2514, “energy storage systems” are defined as “commercially available technology” employing “mechanical, chemical, or thermal processes” to store energy for a period of time for subsequent dispatch. These systems may be centralized or distributed, and may be owned by a loadserving entity, an electricity customer, or a third party.

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