A report released by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) says that the market for distributed energy storage, while still in its infancy, has a significant need for regulatory guidance and proactive policies to ensure a smooth integration into the existing electrical system.
According to IREC, as the percentage of electricity generated from renewable energy sources continues to grow in the U.S. – particularly from solar photovoltaic systems – technologies that can facilitate increased deployment of renewable energy, such as distributed energy storage, are front and center in state and national discussions.
The report outlines why regulators should be interested in helping establish foundational policies to enable deployment of distributed storage. It discusses the specific uses and benefits of distributed storage and looks at the nature of current state policy efforts to address this possibility in the U.S.
Taking those factors into account, the report provides six key policy considerations, which are as follows:
- Designing rate structures that send economic signals to energy storage customers to encourage them to operate their system in a manner that benefits both the electric grid and the customer;
- Creating or modifying markets for ancillary services and demand response to enable energy storage customers to offer those services, either individually or in the aggregate;
- Updating interconnection standards to ensure that energy storage systems have fair and efficient access to the electrical grid;
- Clarifying eligibility rules for net-energy metering programs to maintain the integrity of those programs while also allowing storage systems to participate;
- Implementing a broader scope for distribution system planning and management than has been seen historically to create an electrical system that fully takes advantage of the benefits of energy storage when deployed with other distributed energy resources; and
- Coordinating oversight of energy storage systems with other governmental authorities to ensure safety without imposing duplicative or conflicting regulatory requirements.
‘Distributed energy storage has enormous potential to be a vital tool for states that seek to expand the use of renewable energy, while also offering additional services that can broadly improve the quality and efficiency of the electric service provided by utilities,’ says the lead report author, Sky Stanfield, who represents IREC in regulatory matters. ‘IREC developed this report to help identify key regulatory changes that states may want to consider in the near term in order to facilitate rollout of distributed storage in a manner that captures the greatest benefits and promotes a healthy market for storage services.’
To download the full report, click here.
For more information on how distributed energy storage can be combined with solar generation to create effective hybrid energy networks, visit the Hybrid Energy Innovations event site here.