Updating Distribution Interconnection Procedures to Incorporate Energy Storage

Download now

Published: January 2018

Effective interconnection standards are a critical policy component for policymakers looking to grow the energy storage market in their state. Without the ability to interconnect systems in a timely and affordable manner, no policy stimulus – be it a procurement target or incentive program – will result in robust deployment.

This white paper serves as a guide to policymakers looking to update distribution interconnection rules to incorporate energy storage technology. The white paper includes an overview of the types of distributed energy storage systems customers are likely to adopt, addresses the main interconnection hurdles facing energy storage systems, and proposes a set of recommendations on how to address those challenges in interconnection standards.

Key Takeaways:
• Energy storage is capable of both injecting and withdrawing electricity from the system, is highly controllable, and capable of fast response to system needs and near instantaneous ramp to full capacity in either charge or discharge mode.
• The ability to inadvertently export for a short period of time is critical for customer’s ability to load follow large percentage of their energy needs, and rules governing inadvertent exports should be included in interconnection standards.
• Interconnection standards should reflect the ability of customer to control and modify the use of their energy storage system through operational controls to prevent onerous and unnecessary study timelines and potentially steep upgrade costs for unlikely system behavior.
• Considering the unique ability of customers to control the profile of their energy storage systems, studying the “worst case” scenario (the aggregate nameplate capacity in particular) is inappropriate.
• A net system capacity approach is more appropriate than the aggregated nameplate capacity, with limited exceptions, for an interconnection study of energy storage.