Southern California Edison is embracing energy-storage technology over the natural gas-fired peaker plants that utilities have traditionally relied upon to meet sudden shortfalls in electricity.
“If the requirement is just, ‘Hey we’re just short energy or capacity,’ then yes, energy storage is going to be the solution before probably a peaker,” Colin Cushnie, vice president of energy procurement and management, said in an interview at the utility’s office in Rosemead, California. “We don’t want to put peakers on the grid.”
The shift to storage is a sign that the systems are becoming more affordable. Battery facilities are also smaller, more flexible and easier to expand than peaking power plants. Gas-fired peakers also sometimes face significant community and regulatory resistance in California.