ORIGINAL REPORTING: Super Customer Aggregation For Long Duration Storage
“Super” CCA Collaboration for 500 MW of Long Duration Storage
Herman K. Trabish, Oct. 19, 2020 (California Current)
Editor’s note: The strategy of expanding aggregations to leverage greater economies of scale is gaining momentum, but how big can they get without becoming inadequately regulated utilities?
Eight community choice aggregators are forming a procurement agency to jointly invest in much needed but neglected long duration energy storage. Leaders of the new Joint Powers Agency will issue a groundbreaking solicitation from their “super JPA“ that will pool the eight members’ resources and bid for up to 500 MW of long duration energy storage by 2026, Silicon Valley Clean Energy CEO Girish Balachandran said. It may become California’s biggest single buy to date of storage that supplies power for 8 hours or more, doubling the current output of shorter-term storage.
The first goal is to make up to a $2 billion investment for “up to 500 MW of LDES from one or more projects” to be on-line date by 2026, according to SVCE’s Oct. 14 presentation to its board. It should not be only for regulatory compliance but should also be used by JPA member CCAs to serve the California market and earn returns for its energy, resource adequacy, and ancillary services values.
A range of technologies may be selected, ranging from second life electric vehicle batteries to pumped hydro storage. By creating the super-JPA, CCAs would resolve one of the biggest problems in market dynamics “by creating large-scale demand,” Independent Energy Producers Association Executive Director Jan Smutny-Jones said.
CCAs have been procuring 4-hour or less storage for several years but the JPA collaboration is needed to de-risk long term storage’s more significant costs and technical complexities, Balachandran said. It will apportion long duration storage procurement, liabilities, and returns in accordance with each member’s investment.
The JPA’s 500 MW solicitation could be as much as half of the estimated 1,000 MW of long duration storage needed to meet California’s 60% renewables goal set for 2030. But the state’s approximately 24 CCAs could serve 70% or more of California’s load by the mid-2020s because of the growing number of investor-owned utilities’ customers being served by community energy
Expedited procurement of long duration storage will supplement California’s growing supply of short duration storage to “keep renewables online longer” to meet the state’s ambitious renewables and climate goals, Long Duration Energy Storage Association Executive Director Julia Prochnik said. LDES might also have addressed the state’s recent blackouts by meeting both local and system wide needs. But the proposed JPA’s real significance will be in driving large-scale procurements for LDES and other resources… click here for more