Would minimize greenhouse gas emissions, avoid fossil fuel utility plants
Carla Peterman, a commissioner of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), proposed today (June 10) that the commission begin a proceeding to look into whether or not utilities should adopt energy storage systems. She notes in the proposal that new technologies have enhanced the capabilities of such systems. "Energy storage has the potential to transform how the California electric system is conceived, designed and operated," she writes. Energy storage could optimize the grid "to avoid or defer investments in new fossil fuel-powered plants, integrating renewable power, and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions." She believes that by 2050, greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced to 80% below 1990 levels.
Her proposal will be discussed at length. Comments are due July 3 and reply comments July 19. "There will be back and forth fighting about the proposal," says Nicole Capretz, associate director of the National City-based Environmental Health Coalition. She thinks the proposal is an excellent one: "If utilities have to store energy, it increases the value of rooftop solar."