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California May Require Utilities to Store 5% of Peak Power by 2020

flywheelLegislation under consideration in California would mandate that utilities store 5 percent of their daytime peak power load by 2020, reports SmartGrid.

By 2014, the bill, AB 2514, would require utilities to store 2.25 percent of their daytime peak power load.

The measure, if approved, has great implications for the energy storage sector, reports AltEnergy Stocks.

Use of technology such as spinning flywalls is ushering in a new age where a portion of a utility’s electrical generation can be “saved” and distributed during times of peak demand load, such as hot summer days.

As more and more renewable energy comes online, grid storage devices will become more necessary. For instance, wind turbines produce excess energy at nighttime that, unless captured, is not put to efficient use. Also, the potential for energy spikes from solar and wind figures into the need to store energy, to prevent overloading the grid at any given moment.

Flywheel technologies have been under development at companies such as Pentadyne Power Corp., Emmerson Network Power’s Liebert Corp., and Active Power Inc.

The California Energy Storage Alliance is a primary backer of the technologies.

It is even possible to “store” energy through methods such as using rooftop ice-making machines at night, when electrical grid demand is low, then using the ice to cool the building the next day.

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