State Policy Menu for Storage
State policymakers, utilities, businesses, and households are increasingly looking to advanced energy storage to reduce costs of electric service, enhance electric system reliability, and integrate more renewable resources onto the grid. However, the electric system was designed before cost-effective energy storage was available. Existing state rules and processes inadvertently bias against or exclude energy storage as an investment option, in comparison to conventional investments in generation, transmission, distribution, and demand management.
This document offers a menu of the many actions that state policymakers and regulators can pursue to remove barriers to and accelerate storage deployment.
To enable the use of energy storage and realize its greatest benefits to ratepayers, state policymakers should focus on three core efforts:
- Capture the full value of energy storage. Ensure that the unique and myriad benefits of energy storage are realized via accurate market signals that monetize economic value, operational efficiency, and societal benefits.
- Enable energy storage competition in all grid and resource planning and procurements. Energy storage can serve as a cost-saving and higher-performing resource at the meter, distribution, and transmission levels, but only when fully considered in all planning processes.
- Ensure fair and equal access for storage to the grid and markets. Numerous barriers to market and grid access exist, dramatically limiting the ability for energy storage systems to interconnect and offer their full range of potential services — especially multiple services from a single asset.
While many of these topics are regularly the subject of state regulatory bodies, state
legislators and governor’s offices play an important role in establishing programs and
authorizing regulators to make progress. Fundamentally, these three policy areas
work together in concert to ensure that states make optimal decisions about future
electric system investments.