About Assembly Bill 2255

 

Assembly Bill 2255 (Talamantes Eggman) will advance a diverse mix of new long duration storage technologies to build a cleaner, more reliable energy grid and create thousands of good-paying jobs to boost our economic recovery.

Long Duration Energy Storage for a Clean, Reliable Grid

  • The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has identified an immediate need for an additional 1,000-2,200 megawatts of long duration energy storage to reliably achieve our climate goals.
  • AB 2255 provides an achievable roadmap for integrating long duration storage into the state’s planning and policies, and to bring to market the necessary long duration storage resources, including seasonal and multi-day solutions.
  • The legislation provides a path forward for procuring the CPUC’s recommended storage by 2026, while also spurring innovation in a burgeoning industry. It encourages the adoption of policies and programs that will create a competitive, cost-effective market for new storage technologies to help us build a cleaner and more reliable energy grid faster.

 

Long Duration Energy Storage for Jobs and Our Economy

  • New clean energy infrastructure projects will immediately create economic opportunity through both direct employment as well as indirect employment and other support jobs.
  • Long duration energy storage projects can support thousands of jobs in regions where already high unemployment numbers have skyrocketed due to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • The ongoing construction and operation of long duration energy storage projects will provide hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues to state and local governments experiencing significant – and growing – budget shortfalls.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does California need renewable energy storage?

California has made a world-leading commitment to fight climate change by ramping up to 100 percent clean energy by 2045. To produce enough renewable energy to meet our climate goals and reduce our reliance on conventional generation while keeping the lights on, we need to find a way to harness and store renewable resources for use when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing. Without a way to effectively store renewable energy, we’re letting it go to waste – or worse, paying other states millions of dollars to take it off our hands. Stored renewable energy is available when the grid needs it, making energy cleaner and more reliable for homes and businesses.

 

Why do we need to take action on new clean energy storage projects now?

Many storage technologies take years to plan, develop, and construct. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) found that a significant amount of long duration storage is needed by 2026, and to meet that deadline, action must be taken now. Doing so can also help our economic recovery efforts as long duration energy storage projects can support thousands of jobs in regions where already high unemployment numbers have skyrocketed due to the COVID-19 crisis. Breaking ground on new clean energy infrastructure projects will immediately create new economic opportunities for California families through both direct employment as well as supplier and other support jobs. The ongoing construction and operation of these projects will also provide hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues to state and local governments that are experiencing significant – and growing – budget shortfalls.

 

Which projects or technologies would be eligible to participate in the new procurement
process?

The legislation explicitly encourages the adoption of policies and programs that support innovation and ensure a robust, competitive, cost-effective market for long duration storage at the CPUC. Consistent with the governor’s roadmap, the legislation is technology and project neutral and supports all types of clean energy storage. This includes various types of batteries, compressed air, pumped hydroelectric, electrolytic and renewable hydrogen fuels, and other chemical, mechanical, gravity-based, and thermal energy storage technologies.

The CPUC recently called for a significant amount of new energy storage by 2026.

 

Why do we need more analysis?

The CPUC Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) modeling identified an immediate need for long duration storage in large quantities to maintain reliability while meeting our greenhouse gas reduction goals. It did not, however, identify a feasible plan for ensuring its recommendations are realized in a timely manner. This legislation would supplement and confirm – not replace or disrupt – existing CPUC procurement practices. Without a consistent, accountable approach to procuring long duration energy storage, we have no chance of meeting our climate goals.

 

How will new energy storage help the state meet its climate goals?

California needs to nearly double its renewable energy production by 2030 to stay on track to meeting our climate goals. Experts say this will require at least a quadrupling of our current energy storage capacity. We currently rely on fossil fuel power to keep the lights on when renewable energy isn’t available – undermining our climate goals. Gov. Newsom has called for new clean energy storage to create a modern grid that supports California’s 100 percent renewable energy goal.

 

How will new energy storage help ensure grid reliability?

California needs new clean energy capacity that can ramp up quickly. Currently much of the state’s fast ramping energy capacity is met with fossil fueled power plants. The challenge with renewable resources is that they are variable, making it difficult to match supply with demand. There is the risk of “undersupply” when not enough renewable energy is available to meet customer demand, as well as “oversupply” when more electricity is supplied on the grid than is needed to satisfy demand. Undersupply risks are particularly high during winter months when there are often multiple cloudy days. Conversely, too much supply can damage sensitive infrastructure and destabilize the grid unless the renewable power is turned off or “dumped” out of state.

 

What will new energy storage mean for jobs in California?

New clean energy projects will create thousands of good-paying jobs and stimulate local economies. The renewable energy sector has already created more than half a million clean energy jobs across the state in all 58 counties, many of which have been for disadvantaged and underrepresented workers. More than half (60 percent) of people entering apprenticeship programs for renewable energy construction jobs are people of color, and the inclusion of veterans in these apprenticeship programs is higher than the state’s workforce as a whole.