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article imageNew York and Massachusetts set energy storage targets

By Karen Graham     Jul 1, 2017 in Technology
New York and Massachusetts have joined a growing number of states that are setting targets for energy storage as wind, solar and other renewable energy sources are supplying increasing amounts of power to their electric grids.
Electrical energy storage (EES) is the process of converting electrical energy into a stored form that can later be converted back into electrical energy when needed. It is not a new idea, having been around since the first storage battery, called a Volta cell was developed in 1800.
Energy storage on a grand scale came about in the United States with the construction of the first large-scale energy storage facility on the Housatonic River in Connecticut in 1929. It was called the Rocky River Pumped Storage plant. Since that time, research into energy storage has increased dramatically.
Alessandro Volta s electric battery (Tempio Voltiano in Como  Italy).
Alessandro Volta's electric battery (Tempio Voltiano in Como, Italy).
But it is the technological advancements in lowering the cost and performance of rechargeable storage batteries that has really aided the renewable energy sector in the development of more efficient ways to store energy, and states all across the nation are now setting targets, including California, Oregon, Massachusetts and Nevada—and their targets vary.
New York's recently passed Assembly Bill A6571, asks the state's Public Service Commission to set a target for energy storage by as early as January of 2018. "Anyone in the business knows storage is critical to making intermittent energy a reality. Because of this, New York has got to take a leadership role," said Westchester Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, who co-sponsored the bill.
File photo: The 150 MW Andasol solar power station is a commercial parabolic trough solar thermal po...
File photo: The 150 MW Andasol solar power station is a commercial parabolic trough solar thermal power plant, located in Spain. The Andasol plant uses tanks of molten salt to store solar energy so that it can continue generating electricity even when the sun isn't shining.
In Massachusetts, the state passed a law last summer asking the state's Department of Energy Resources (DOER) to come up with a stored energy target. Greentech Media announced on Friday the deed was finally done - with the DOER setting a target of 200 megawatt-hours by 2020.
The Massachusetts target is overshadowed by California's 1.3 gigawatts, which is to be expected, but much higher than Oregon's paltry target of 5 megawatt-hours per utility. However, according to GTM Research, setting a target is a big step for Massachusetts because it has no commercial-scale energy storage.
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