Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) has presented 75 MW of energy storage contracts to the California Public Utilities Commission for review and approval. Passed in 2013, California's energy storage mandate requires investor-owned utilities to procure 1,325 MW of storage by 2020, and PG&E's share is 580 MW.
PG&E says energy storage is expected to play an increasingly important role for California utilities as they work to achieve the states ambitious clean energy goals. By the end of 2015, PG&E forecasts that about 30% of its retail electric deliveries will come from renewable sources. The utility says energy storage will help integrate many of those resources, such as wind and solar, which are intermittent or provide peak output during times of low demand.
In December 2014, PG&E issued a request for offers to solicit proposals for energy storage projects. Fong Wan, PG&E senior vice president for energy policy and procurement, says he was pleased with the first list of projects.
"PG&E supports the state's efforts to enable energy storage to play its appropriate role in the California electric grid to support the integration of utility-scale and customer-connected renewables, and is excited to take this first step in implementing these goals," comments Wan.
The seven projects selected include four lithium-ion battery projects, two zinc/air battery storage facilities and one flywheel project, a first for PG&E. Flywheel technology uses kinetic energy to store energy and later supply that energy to the grid.
The first projects are due to come online in May 2017.