California's drive for decarbonization has placed the [California] ISO on the leading edge of the energy storage revolution. [. . .] Energy storage is going to play a critical role in maintaining reliability and providing essential grid services.
California leads the nation in electricity generation from all renewable resources combined. Its deserts are home to vast utility-scale solar farms and the largest single wind energy project in the United States (also the third largest in the world). Since 2017, over half of California’s electricity produced is from renewable resources. California’s power grid is overseen by the non-profit California Independent System Operator (CAISO), which has stated a need to dramatically expand the state’s energy storage capacity to stabilize the energy system and facilitate the transition to a carbon free future.
14,106 MW of utility-scale solar farms are currently operating in California, according to the California Independent System Operator (CAISO).
Small-scale, customer-sited facilities provide an additional almost 11,000 MW of solar capacity.
In 2019, California produced two-fifths of the total solar electricity generation in the nation, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports.
CAISO plans to add an additional 1,600 MW of utility-scale solar capacity in 2021.
California has more than 6,950 MW of installed wind generating capacity installed, CAISO reports.
CAISO plans to add 400 MW of onshore wind capacity in 2021.
Including traditional pumped-hydro facilities, California had 4,200 MW of energy storage capacity in 2019 according to CASIO.
California is expected to add 1,700 MW of battery capacity to the grid in 2021.
Generation-1 resource estimate
Peak system load
Pre-planning phase of development
The Need for Storage
During the middle of the day when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing, California’s renewable resources can produce more energy than is needed. During these periods of surplus energy, CAISO is forced to reduce the production of energy from renewable sources. Through long-duration energy storage solutions like Quidnet Energy’s innovative Geomechanical Pumped Storage (GPS) technology, these wasted resources can be retained and the power made available after the sun has set and solar farm production has stopped for the evening.
A report released in March 2021 by California’s Air Resources Board, Energy Commission, and Public Utilities Commission – three state agencies that regulate climate and energy issues – concluded that an additional 48,800 MW of energy storage will be necessary by 2045 to meet the state’s ambitious climate goals.
Quidnet is using established technologies in a new way to make long-duration energy storage a reality in California and other parts of the nation. We are developing and deploying energy storage using the science of geomechanics and time-tested pumped-storage hydropower technology. Our system is modular, scalable, and terrain-independent. Compared to gas peaking plants and alternative storage systems, Quidnet’s GPS solution offers significant structural cost advantages and a lower per-megawatt installed cost. We’re reliable and ready, with equipment provided and serviced by mature suppliers from well-established industries.