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California Sets Terms of Massive Energy Storage Mandate

On Tuesday, the California Public Utilities Commission released a long-awaited proposal for mandating an unprecedented 1.3 gigawatts of energy storage to support the state's power grid by decade's end. Consider it a bold first step into the untested waters of combining new energy storage technologies, regulatory structures and economic models into a working whole. 

The 81-page proposed decision [DOC] from CPUC Commissioner Carla J. Peterman breaks new ground in seeking to establish a regulatory regime in which utilities, third-party storage providers, and even customer-owned storage assets can play an integrated role. Those include rules that would limit utilities from owning more than 50 percent of the total amount of energy storage to be procured across the three "grid domains" of transmission, distribution, and customer-located storage.

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