Draft Energy Storage Roadmap for California

Posted: October 8, 2014 - 19:00 / CAISO / Reports

California has adopted numerous policies to achieve a transition to reliance on sustainable, renewable energy sources. In this context, energy storage systems comprise a category of emerging technologies that could help significantly to optimize the use of wind and solar generation, assist in integrating increased amounts of renewable energy resources into the grid, and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. However, there are challenges and barriers that may currently inhibit storage from achieving its potential.

The purpose of this roadmap is to facilitate the advancement of energy storage in support of California’s energy and environmental policy goals by identifying actions to address challenges and barriers that have been identified by industry participants and other stakeholders.

The open questions and issues span virtually every aspect of developing storage projects and are related to core activities of the California Energy Commission (Energy Commission), the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the California Independent System Operator (CAISO). These three agencies must therefore coordinate their efforts to foster an effective commercial and regulatory framework to facilitate energy storage development. This energy storage roadmap was conceived as a tool for the agencies and stakeholders to identify the full range of questions and issues and formulate a plan for addressing them.

Some stakeholders have expressed a need for a longer-term vision for energy storage as a necessary element of the roadmap process. The agencies agree on the shared vision that energy storage is an essential component to achieving the state’s clean energy goals. Several recent policy actions have provided near-term guidance for this vision, including (1) the CPUC decision for investor owned utility (IOU) energy storage procurement targets of 1,325 MW, (2) the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Order No. 792 which directs transmission providers to define electric storage devices as generating facilities that can take advantage of generator interconnection procedures, and (3) procurement actions by Southern California Edison (SCE) and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) under the CPUC long-term procurement plan. These actions raised a number of questions that need to be resolved for integrating energy storage facilities into the electric grid. The vision is that energy storage will be part of the grid; the roadmap captures key actions needed to realize this vision.

In the development of the roadmap, the Energy Commission, CPUC and CAISO are working closely with stakeholders to identify challenges and barriers for energy storage and devise actions to address them. To date, this stakeholder outreach has identified three broad categories of challenges and barriers: 1) uncertain or insufficient revenue opportunities; 2) high costs of development and interconnection; and 3) uncertainty regarding regulatory requirements, processes and timelines.

The roadmap focuses on actions to address identified challenges and barriers in all three categories. The table below provides a summary of how each of the actions described in this paper addresses one or more of the barriers brought forth by stakeholders. The roadmap team has attempted to capture a preliminary set of actions to address the identified challenges and barriers and invites stakeholders to provide feedback on these. Prior to publishing the final roadmap, the roadmap team may further refine the actions based on a consideration of this stakeholder feedback.

The roadmap team will hold a second stakeholder workshop on October 13 to present and discuss this draft roadmap and solicit additional feedback from stakeholders. The agencies plan to post a final roadmap in December.

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