Southern California utilities are counting on energy efficiency and demand response to make up for energy supplies lost due to the Aliso Canyon methane disaster, and now a state regulator is looking to the companies to provide at least 100 megawatts of energy storage by the new year.
In late May, “the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) officially ordered utility Southern California Edison to undertake an ‘expedited procurement’ of large-scale, grid-connected energy storage resources to deal with the ‘distinct possibility of electricity service interruptions in the coming summer and winter months’ caused by the Aliso Canyon shutdown,” Greentech Media reports.
SoCalEd’s procurement documents, released last week, specifies a minimum 500-kilowatt size for simple energy storage projects. The utility also issued a separate Request for Offers for design-build-transfer suppliers who can provide four hours of storage in increments of, five, 10, 15, and 25 megawatts.
CPUC wants bidders selected by July 29, plans to approve the utility’s choices by mid-September, and expects projects to be up and running by the end of the year. “In spite of this short turnaround, CPUC is confident that it will receive several megawatts’ worth of bids,” said Ravi Manghani, chief energy storage analyst at GTM Research. While the Commission expects project timelines to slip by a month or two, “the goal to impact winter 2016-17 demand is an equally important objective, and not just summer 2017.”