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The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recently issued a proposed decision for energy storage targets and policies to bring about rapid deployment of grid-scale energy storage in the state.

According to the California Energy Storage Alliance (CESA), the proposed decision's framework provides essential goals and a timeline for the implementation of A.B.2514, which became law in 2010.

Under A.B.2514, the CPUC was required to open a proceeding to consider developing energy storage procurement targets for California utilities to integrate grid-scale storage into the state's electrical power system if determined to be viable and cost-effective. The CESA says the CPUC has now developed a proposed framework for implementing the law.

Some of the highlights of the proposal are as follows:

- The proposed framework outlines specific year-by-year energy storage procurement targets for Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas and Electric, and Pacific Gas and Electric. By 2020, the three are expected to have contracted for 1.325 GW of energy storage for their operations;

- The proposed targets increase between 30% and 55% every two years, creating economic incentives for multiple players with various technologies to enter the market;

- Utilities will be allowed to employ energy storage for a variety of functions, such as capacity, ancillary services and peak shaving, which will provide real-world data for further market evaluation;

- Utilities may own some energy storage systems and will procure at least 50% from independent developers across all segments of the grid via existing procurement processes or “all-source” solicitations starting in 2014; and

- The first solicitation for new energy storage capacity will be required no later than Dec. 1, 2014.


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