By - Jim Vess

New York becomes fourth state to set energy storage goals

Energize Weekly, December 6, 2017

New York became the fourth state to set an energy storage target on Nov. 29 when Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an energy storage bill that was unanimously passed by the state legislature.

California, Oregon and Massachusetts have already established energy storage mandates.

The New York Public Service Commission (PSC) will set an energy storage target for 2030, when the state is seeking to get half its power from renewable sources.

The PSC is supposed to set the statewide storage goal by Jan. 1, 2018, but there was a five-month gap between its passage and the governor’s signing the bill into law, so the deadline may be pushed back.

Once the PSC sets the target, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the Long Island Power Authority will oversee a program for developing and deploying storage resources.

The storage program will cover both utility-scale and customer-oriented, behind-the-meter storage.

The storage initiative is part of the comprehensive “Reforming Energy Vision” program that New York has undertaken to spur investment in renewable energy, power grid innovation, and regulatory and rate reform.

The PSC will also have to decide if the storage target is mandatory.

In 2013, the California Public Utilities Commission issued an order requiring the state’s three investor-owned utilities to obtain 1.3 gigawatts of storage by 2020. Last May, it ordered the utilities to add 500 megawatts of behind-the-meter storage.

The California initiatives were based on an energy storage law passed in 2013, the first in the nation, and is credited with priming energy storage investment and development.

Oregon followed California, passing a statewide energy mandate in 2015. The state public utilities commission issued its guidelines for the program this past January. They require Portland General Electric and PacifiCorp to have a minimum of 5 megawatt-hours of energy storage in service by Jan. 1, 2020. The mandate is capped at 1 percent of a utility’s peak load in 2014.

In August 2016, the Massachusetts legislature passed an omnibus energy bill that included a requirement that the state Department of Energy Resources (DOER) evaluate the viability and cost-effectiveness of setting a 2020 energy storage target. A state study determined that 600 megawatts would be economically beneficial and politically feasible.

This past June, the DOER issued a mandatory target for the state of 200 megawatt-hours storage by Jan. 1, 2020 and allocated $10 million in funding for demonstration projects.

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