Supported by The Climate Center

SB 1433 (Limón) Gravity-Based Energy Storage Well Pilot Program

Oil wells at sunset. Photo via Canva.

SB 1433 would establish the Gravity-Based Energy Storage Well Pilot Program to first clean up, and then convert idle wells for use as gravity-based energy storage wells to store solar and wind energy and deliver clean electricity when needed. The pilot program would assess the efficacy and safety of gravity-based energy storage wells through 2034 and make recommendations to the Legislature after its completion.

Gravity-based energy storage systems store and release energy by lifting up weights when solar and wind energy are plentiful and then, when renewable energy is scarce, dropping the weights and capturing the kinetic energy—in this case, all below the ground in old oil wells. Idle oil wells harm both communities and the climate by leaking toxic chemicals into the air and water. By repurposing these wells, we can remove a serious public health and climate threat. This bill would also provide jobs for the same oil workers who face layoffs amidst the state’s gradual and, at this point, largely unmanaged decline of oil and gas extraction.

Committee Location: (Updated 5/28/24) Approved in the Senate; currently in the Assembly Rules Committee awaiting assignment to a policy committee.

Bill author