Sacramento, California - New opportunities will be available as California maps out its route to double the rate of energy efficiency savings in California buildings and generate half of the state's electricity from renewable sources by 2030. One of those opportunities was highlighted at the California Energy Commission today.
Energy Commission Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller, California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Picker, California Independent System Operator (ISO) President and CEO Stephen Berberich, and California Public Utilities Commissioner Carla Peterman invited the public to investigate issues concerning bulk energy storage, how to optimize existing projects including the potential barriers for projects to become commercially operational.
Bulk energy storage is an important opportunity that can help manage renewable energy. The California ISO reports that there have been times when more renewable energy is available on the grid than what is needed -- and those times are likely to increase. To maintain grid reliability and operational standards, the California ISO must reduce renewables generation to balance supply with demand. With bulk storage, excess energy would be stored for later use -- say during the evening after the sun goes down -- instead of being curtailed.
Energy storage systems exist. Pumped hydroelectric, compressed air, flywheels and various forms of batteries are already being used. The challenges and opportunities with such systems are making them nimble, larger and commercially viable. Learn more about storage types in this Energy Commission report.