Community energy utilities in California investigate long duration energy storage

Energy Storage News

A group of 11 community-focused energy utility groups in California have issued a Request for Information on long duration energy storage technologies that could be connected to the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) grid.

Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) are permitted to supply energy to residents in several US states. In California CCAs operate in the service areas of the major investor-owned utilities and benefit from the IOUs infrastructure, while being able to freely determine their energy suppliers and generation mix. Deanne Barrow, a senior associate at law firm Norton Rose Fulbright, who has worked on several deals involving CCAs, told recently that the CCAs role in procuring energy in the US is growing. has reported on several moves by CCAs to procure energy storage, both standalone and in combination with solar PV. Most recently, in early April this year, CCA CalChoice picked esVolta for a 15MW / 60MWh lithium-ion battery storage system to help provide Resource Adequacy in Santa Paula, a city in California’s Ventura County.

Later that month, thin-film solar technology company and project developer First Solar signed power purchase agreements (PPAs) with CCAs Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP) and Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) for a 100MW solar PV plant combined with 20MW / 50MWh of battery energy storage systems.

Last week, the long duration request for information was published jointly by MBCP, SVCE and nine other CCAs: Clean Power Alliance of Southern California, CleanPowerSF, East Bay Community Energy, Marin Clean Energy, Peninsula Clean Energy, Redwood Coast Energy Authority, San Jose Clean Energy, Sonoma Clean Power and Valley Clean Energy.

The groups are collecting information to help with their long-term resource planning, through which a need for long duration storage has been identified. The ‘Joint CCAs’ group also said the information may inform a “subsequent long-duration storage request for offers” that might be issued “as soon as this summer”, either by the CCAs in some combination, or individually.

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