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Edison Seeking Energy Storage to Meet California Requirement

Edison International, the owner of California’s second-largest utility, will seek contracts for at least 50 megawatts of energy-storage capacity to ensure long-term energy supplies in the Los Angeles area.

The company’s Southern California Edison utility must procure the energy storage resources as part of a plan to supply as much as 1,800 megawatts of electrical capacity in the area, according to an e-mailed statement today from the San Francisco-based California Public Utilities Commission.

The requirement is the first of its kind for a utility in the state, according to Janice Lin, executive director of the California Energy Storage Alliance, an advocacy group.

“It’s a first. It’s pretty big in that regard,” Lin said today by telephone. “A whole lot of different types of companies are eyeing this market, with particular great interest from traditional power plant and renewable energy developers.”

The requirement is separate from a 2010 law that requires regulators to set energy storage mandates for utilities in 2015 and 2020. Those mandates are expected to be finalized by October, Lin said.

Edison’s applications for the Los Angeles-area energy storage resources are expected to be submitted in late 2013 or early 2014, according to a commission filing. The amount of energy storage added may be more than 50 megawatts, because the commission also authorized the utility to procure as much as an additional 600 megawatts from energy efficiency, demand response, distributed generation or energy storage resources, according to the filing.

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