California’s pioneering energy storage mandate moves forward


California is moving ahead with what could be a precedent-setting mandate to require its utilities to invest in energy storage systems and services, which are meant to complement the growing amount of wind and solar electricity flowing into the grid.

California lawmakers passed a bill in late 2010 that fell short of requiring utilities to invest in energy storage but did  give the California Public Utilities Commission the task of looking into whether a mandate is a good idea and what that mandate should be. The commission on Thursday approved a proposal that identified 20 ways that electricity storage could benefit the grid and consumers. That decision then kicked off a new round of discussion that could eventually lead to an energy storage mandate and turn California into a prime market for many types of battery and other storage technologies.

Similar to the existing state mandate that requires investor-owned utilities to…

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