California’s Present Power Storage Capability Falls Wanting the Mark

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California's Current Energy Storage Capacity Falls Short of the Mark

By 2045, California will require up to 55 GW of Long Term Energy Storage (LDES) to meet its 100% clean electricity goals. That amount represents a more than 150-fold increase in the number of energy storage devices used in the state since 2010. According to a recent study by the California Energy Storage Alliance (CESA), the state will need 2 to 11 GW of new operational LDES by 2030).

The study “Long-term energy storage for the clean, reliable power grid of California” conducted by strategists found that the future California power grid will be heavily dependent on intermittent and variable solar energy. This dependency underscores the need for reliable, abundant, and long-lasting energy shift resources capable of supplying more than four hours of electricity, currently the market standard for the state.

“Almost 180 GW of the 240 GW installed in California by 2045 will be solar,” said Alex Morris, Executive Director of CESA. “Long-term energy storage of more than four hours is crucial to support the solar grid at night, on every evening peak and then of course on the hours, days and even weeks when there is simply not enough sun to meet the demand . ”

California has begun to recognize the short term need for LDES. This spring, the California Public Utility Commission requested 1 GW of new LDES capacity by 2026. In November, a coalition of eight Community Choice aggregators published the state’s first LDES RFQ (RFO) for the procurement of up to 500 MW long-term storage capacity. The RFO aims to have resources go online with a minimum discharge time of eight hours by 2026. However, the results of this study and the recent summer blackout events underscore the real urgency of a shorter-term use of LDES to supplement the existing variable energy resources (VERs).

CESA’s study assessed the need and opportunity for LDES to meet the California Clean Energy Goals through a technology neutral approach that focuses on the network contribution of storage resources.

Click here to access CESA’s full energy storage facility for the Clean, Reliable Grid study in California.

Photo: CESA Our Mission website

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