California’s community-choice aggregators are moving ahead of the traditional utilities.
California regulators said this year that the state will need 1 gigawatt of long-duration storage by 2026. But the technologies that can cost-effectively meet that need have so far attracted more attention from white-paper authors than paying customers.
That changed on Thursday, when a coalition of eight Californian community-choice aggregators, led by Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE), published a request for offers seeking 500 megawatts of long-duration storage capacity. In doing so, they beat the state’s investor-owned utilities in making good on the California Public Utilities Commission’s call to invest in this resource.
“We know that this is going to be needed in our future,” SVCE CEO Girish Balachandran said in an interview. “As load-serving entities, we said, ‘Let’s take the first step of moving this forward.'”
Indeed, the Joint CCA procurement appears to be the largest-ever effort to contract for long-duration storage.
“I haven’t seen anything this big…that’s focused on long duration,” said Jin Noh, senior policy manager at the California Energy Storage Alliance.