Governor Brown Signs Bill by Assemblymember David Chiu to Advance Energy Storage Technology

Monday, October 2, 2017

Energy storage empowers customers to use power when it is the cheapest and most plentiful and creates resource stability for grid operators

SACRAMENTO--Governor Brown on Saturday signed Assembly Bill 546 by Assemblymember David Chiu (D–San Francisco) that would encourage energy storage technology by streamlining the permitting process for installations of this crucial technology. The measure will take effect on January 1, 2018.

“Governor Brown understands that our energy needs will require us to dramatically improve energy storage and increase the flexible management of electricity supply and demand,” said Assemblymember Chiu. “California should encourage simplicity and standardization with local permits. Guidance that draws from best practices can help local governments standardize their processes so that the energy storage industry will grow quickly and safely.”

In 2015, Assemblymember Chiu authored AB 1236, which was signed into law by the Governor, to support California’s climate goals by establishing uniformity and streamlining the permitting process for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. These reforms lower the cost of installations and expand the infrastructure to accommodate electric vehicles on California’s roadways.

This year’s AB 546 builds on that successful model by encouraging the Office of Planning and Research to develop energy storage guidance that draws from existing best practices. This measure also requires local governments to accept electronic submission of documents which increases the efficiency of permit applicants. Local jurisdictions currently handle storage permitting differently, which creates a barrier to the cost-effectiveness of this technology and limits or slows deployment. These improvements will enable more energy storage in California communities and expand the many benefits provided by this technology.

As California becomes increasingly reliant on intermittent renewable energy resources, it will need options to allow it to manage fluctuations in electric supply and demand. Energy storage is a major part of that solution. Energy storage allows customers to use power when it is the cheapest and most plentiful and creates resource stability for grid operators.

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Assemblymember David Chiu (D–San Francisco) is the Chair of the Housing & Community Development Committee of the California State Assembly. He represents the 17th Assembly District, which encompasses eastern San Francisco. Learn more at:  https://a17.asmdc.org/