The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion authored by Supervisor Kathryn Barger that directs Los Angeles County’s Department of Regional Planning to develop an ordinance that will regulate and prevent the overconcentration of battery energy storage sites (BESS).
By News Desk
The discussion among the Supervisors focused on finding a balance between supporting energy reliability and clean energy goals that will help reduce greenhouse gasses by developing new energy storage solutions like BESS facilities, while adequately mitigating fire risks posed by the storage of lithium ion batteries and safeguarding the equitable distribution of these storage facilities–which are prone to be developed in parts of the County where undeveloped land is available.
Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s motion adds more teeth to the County’s ability to have local oversight in approving BESS site locations.
The motion directs the Director of Los Angeles County’s Department of Regional Planning to amend the County’s zoning code to provide clarity on appropriate siting and land use approval for BESS, including the development of definitions, permitting structure standards, and operational standards. It also specifies that the forthcoming Ordinance should include specific criteria to mitigate potential fire hazards, safety measures, and emergency response protocols.
The motion also directs the County’s Regional Planning Department to convene meetings with key community stakeholders, labor and energy stakeholders to gather input on policy design for the Ordinance.
The new BESS ordinance is expected to be back before the Board in late 2024.
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