Energy Storage Alert: California Public Utilities Commission Approves Utility Energy Storage Procurement Plans

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At its business meeting yesterday, the California Public Utilities Commission (“Commission”) unanimously approved procurement plans for Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas and Electric and Pacific Gas and Electric to procure 112.8 megawatts of electric storage through solicitations to be launched December 1, 2014.

On October 21, 2013, the Commission approved Decision 13-10-040 (the “2013 Decision”) establishing electric storage procurement targets for the three investor-owned utilities. The utilities set a total procurement target of 1,325 MWs of electric storage, to be procured in four biennial solicitations, with the first solicitation commencing December 1, 2014. The 2013 Decision also required utilities to submit procurement plans for the 2014 solicitation to the Commission for approval. The plans, submitted to the Commission on February 28, 2014, were approved yesterday, with modifications.

Yesterday’s decision approves SDG&E’s plan to procure 16 MWs, SCE’s plan to procure 16.3 MWs and increases PG&E’s procurement from its proposed 78 MWs to 80.5 MWs. It also specifies the eligible storage technologies. The Commission found that storage components storing heat for solar thermal facilities, biogas for biogas facilities, or cooled water for use in chillers to increase thermal generation output all qualified as eligible technologies. The Commission also found that managed or controlled electric vehicle charging (V1G), was not eligible, but V2G (bi-directional---charging from the grid and discharging to the grid) technologies were eligible.

The Commission also approved, with modifications, a Consistent Evaluation Protocol that all three utilities would use for reporting and benchmarking purposes, as well as proprietary evaluation protocols that each utility would use for bid selection.

If you have any questions about the content of this alert, please contact a key contributor.

Key Contributors

Seth D. Hilton
Brian J. Nese
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