Why Energy Storage?

Renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and decrease greenhouse gas emissions in the electric sector. Energy storage is an essential enabling resource for renewable energy.

Climate change concerns have led to increased deployment of renewable energy. Both solar photovoltaics (PV) and wind energy have variable and uncertain output affected by weather, time of day, and geography. As the quantity of renewables increases, the variability of these sources creates a number of challenges for maintaining a reliable electric grid, including:

  • Solar generation that exceeds demand in the middle of the day
  • A steep increase in net demand during early evening hours as the sun sets
  • Reduced supplies of non-energy services  (known as ancillary services) that are essential to maintaining an electric grid and traditionally come from fossil-fueled generators.

Bulk Energy Storage

Bulk energy storage technologies offer long-duration, grid-scale (50 MW+) energy storage services which will be essential for electric systems with high percentages of renewables.

I think bulk storage will provide a great opportunity to offset conventional generation in a number of ways, one, from a contingency perspective, two, from a ramping perspective, and three, just from a load management perspective.

-Steve Berberich, President, CAISO

Read more about the role of bulk energy storage in California here.