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Advancing Clean Energy: Energy Storage

A solar energy storage system being tested.

A solar energy storage system being tested. The storage systems store surplus renewable energy when it’s produced for use later.

Dennis Schroeder / NREL

What's at Stake

The development of energy storage is a crucial step to up-scaling renewable energy integration into the grid.

It took years of work by environmental advocates to get the California PUC to adopt such an innovative policy on renewable energy, but the decision will pave the way for the entire nation.

Case Overview

In the summer of 2011, the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) sought to establish procurement policies for energy storage systems, which can play a key role in integrating renewable energy sources such as wind and solar into the existing grid. Earthjustice intervened in the energy storage proceeding to ensure that aggressive targets for clean energy storage were set. The proceedings aimed to develop policies to buy and deploy energy storage technologies.

The development of energy storage is a crucial step to up-scaling renewable energy integration into the grid. This proceeding was the first of its kind in the country to solely focus on energy storage, thus Earthjustice intervened to ensure the adoption of policies that maximize opportunities from clean energy.

In October 2013, the California Public Utilities Commission finalized a groundbreaking decision to buy energy storage systems that will continue California leading role in renewable energy and hinder the states dependence from fossil fuels. The decision will require companies to expand their energy storage capacity and improve the storage and delivery of renewable energy sources. Additionally, the state’s investor-owned utilities must buy a combined 200 megawatts of energy storage technology by 2014, and 1.3 gigawatts by the year 2020.

The decision was facilitated by Bill 2514 (AB 2514) which passed it 2010, it was the first state law that solely focused on incorporating energy storage into the electrical grid. It took years of work by environmental advocates to get the California Public Utilities Commission to adopt such an innovative policy on renewable energy, but the decision will pave the way for the entire nation.

Case ID

2221, 2717

Attorneys

Case Updates

April 15, 2014 | Feature

The United States of Solar

Earthjustice's clean energy work stretches from the islands of Hawaiʻi to across the mainland. Learn about our key litigation and policy work on solar energy nationwide and in states across the country.

February 22, 2013 | Blog Post

Storage Needed When There Is No Sun, Wind

Most people know that solar and wind energy is only generated when the sun shines or the wind blows. This leaves potential power gaps at times of no sun or wind. One of the Holy Grails of renewable energy has been storage systems (think battery here) that can store surplus energy when it’s produced for use later.

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