May 19, 2020

Hybrid Resources Are Arriving as Policy Catches Up

Sharon Thomas, Policy Manager

What benefits can Hybrid Resources offer? Hybrid Resources can offer an array of advantages compared to siting single intermittent generation facilities. Hybrid resources can provide a means to better optimize use of existing transmission infrastructure and help the grid accommodate and integrate more renewable energy resources.

Save the date: ESA will be hosting a webinar examining hybrid resources on Thursday, June 11. We will update with more information soon!

Over the past year, hybrid resources involving energy storage coupled with power generation such as solar and wind power have become a hot topic across organized wholesale markets in the U.S. This surge of market interest in hybrid resources—as evidenced by a significant increase in the number appearing in interconnection queues—has been drawing more attention from RTOs/ISOs, which have been working to develop market rules for these resources. According to a study by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Electric Power Research Institute, 4.6 GW of hybrid resource capacity is online today, 14.7 GW of hybrid resources are in the immediate development pipeline, and 69 GW of hybrid resources are in select interconnection queues. Even outside of RTO/ISO markets, hybrid resources are increasingly being selected as the most economic resources in competitive solicitations. Some examples include:

  • NV Energy: In 2019, NV Energy contracted for a portfolio of hybrid projects consisting of 1,200 MW of solar and 590 MW of batteries, building on their 2018 procurement of 1,001 MW of solar and 100 MW of storage.
  • Portland General Electric: Portland General Electric is currently developing the nation’s first major hybrid renewable project in a single location with 300 MW of wind, 50 MW of solar, and 30 MW of battery storage.
  • APS: APS announced a 65 MW solar plus 50 MW battery storage hybrid project in February 2018, which is scheduled to come online in 2021, replacing natural gas peaking generation. 

To date, all seven organized wholesale market operators are discussing hybrid resources with stakeholders in an effort to pave the way for greater participation opportunities, with five markets actively undertaking new rules development. The scope and pace of these discussions vary greatly across different regions. Topics under review include forecasting, market participation models, market mitigation, capacity accreditation, offer parameters, interconnection, resource planning, as well as metering and telemetry. At ESA, we have engaged in dialogue on hybrid resources as a critical element of market development for energy storage. Click here for a summary of hybrid resource initiatives underway in organized markets.

Hybrid Resource Initiative Status

Speeding Ahead Early Conversations in Process No Formal Initiative Yet

Hybrids are gaining interest at the federal level as well. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recently announced a technical conference on hybrid resources for July 23, 2020 and opened a docket on the subject (AD20-9).  Having an open docket on this topic offers the possibility of FERC issuing a rulemaking on hybrid resources in the near future, which would formalize rules for and uniformly enable hybrid resource development opportunities across the organized wholesale markets. ESA has suggested that a rulemaking on hybrid resources could follow the format of Order 841, which directed RTOs/ISOs to develop new rules to remove barriers for stand-alone energy storage resources to participate in wholesale markets.

If you’re interested in a discussion on the challenges facing hybrid resources in advance of the upcoming FERC technical conference, be sure to join ESA’s June 8 webinar on hybrid resources, which will focus on hybrid resource options and revenue opportunities for project developers; key regulatory issues and challenges that affect these options; and an update on FERC and RTO/ISO discussions, including the role that ESA has been playing. Additionally, check out our 2019 white paper on barriers and solutions for enabling hybrid resource deployment on the bulk power system.

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