Comments of the ESA re: DOE Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) Phase 1: Electricity Transmission, Distribution, and Storage

Posted: October 10, 2014 - 17:00 / DOE / ESA Filings

The ESA agrees with the statement by the Department of Energy (“DOE”) that “to serve a 21st century consumer base, the grid must adapt to emerging challenges and opportunities: fluctuating energy prices, an increasingly transactive role for customers, integration of distributed energy resources, the need for improved resilience, and the need to act as an enabling platform for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.” The ESA also believes that key to that adaptation and ultimately meeting long-term goals is the deployment of energy storage technologies and applications that can enable the transformation of the grid into a more reliable, cost-effective, efficient and cleaner system. Key attributes of energy storage that should be considered in the QER report include:

  • Storage technologies are viable alternatives to generation, transmission, and distribution investments.
    • In 2014, procurements of 25, 50, 60, 200 megawatt (and more) storage systems are being made across the country, as alternatives to generation, transmission, and distribution investments as costs have become competitive with traditional grid assets, and operational benefits have been analyzed, valued and proven.
    • Energy storage can be controlled with a high degree of accuracy and precision by both transmission and distribution system operators. FERC acknowledged in Order 755 that the speed and accuracy with which energy storage can react has an inherent value to the grid system beyond the energy delivered.
    • Energy storage can provide services that can be transacted in the wholesale market. FERC Order 755 and 784 affirmed that ancillary services can be provided by energy storage applications. Additional markets, including eligibility for Capacity and Resource Adequacy, are being considered for energy storage as well.
  • Storage technologies improve the efficiency and utilitization of existing grid assets.
    • Energy storage can interconnect at points from the generator, throughout the grid system, to the customer location. The basic premise of the utilization of the most effective and efficient resources at all times should remain as the cornerstone of a future, “two-way” grid. The technical capabilities of energy storage will help enable such a practice, even as the supply system becomes more dynamic and localized.
    • Energy storage is fuel-neutral and can be charged from any resource on the grid. In fact, as a flexible resource, energy storage can serve to both inject and absorb supply, providing double the flexible capacity of traditional generation and allowing all types of generation, including variable resources, to function more smoothly.
  • Storage technologies improve grid reliability and resiliency.
    • Energy storage is able to provide seamless back-up power to electric service when the utility grid is compromised.
    • Energy storage technologies, with the implementation of Order 755, are now providing ancillary services for frequency regulation.
    • The State of New Jersey has recognized that energy storage can serve as areliability resource, instituting an “Energy Resilience Bank” that funds energy storage as back-up to distributed renewable systems in areas of critical need.