Value of Energy Storage to the Future Power System - Draft for Comment

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The Council is requesting comment for its report

Value of Energy Storage to the Future Power System

The Council’s Seventh Power Plan recognized the regional interest and potential opportunity and created an action item (ANLYS-16) to assist in the development of a white paper on the value of energy storage to the future power system. This document – still in draft form - is the outcome of that action item and is being developed in collaboration with a diverse group of stakeholders and subject matter experts to best reflect current and future expected regional policy and development activity.

Please email comments by August 4, 2017


Energy storage has reemerged as a topic of keen interest for consumers, utilities, regulators, and decision makers within the region and across the country. Recent resource retirements, regulatory changes, technology innovations, and strong year-on-year growth of variable resource generation (e.g. wind and solar power) have led policy makers and system planners to investigate whether and how energy storage may be deployed to increase reliability and lower costs.

The intent of this whitepaper is to define and describe the technologies, costs, values, and opportunities for utility scale, front-of-meter storage located on the transmission and distribution system. Utility-scale storage technologies considered as in-scope include pumped hydropower, flywheels, and front-of-meter batteries. This is not an all-inclusive list of potentially viable technologies and notable exceptions considered as out-of-scope for this paper include behind-the-meter storage of all types including thermal hot water heaters. The exclusion of thermal hot water heaters and other similar forms of customer-sited storage is not a reflection of their lack of promise; indeed, such technologies have long been explored and even piloted in the region, particularly for demand response applications. Instead, thermal storage technologies are considered as out-of-scope for this paper because the Council is first taking them up through the Demand Response Advisory Committee given the region’s experience and will subsequently consider them from the perspective of an energy storage resource potentially capable of providing many or all of the benefits and values described herein.

By describing the to-date technology, market, planning, and policy landscape, this white paper has been developed to help utilities and regional system planners to understand and assign value to the energy, capacity, ancillary service, and infrastructure investment deferral benefits which may be accessible through the unique stacked value streams of energy storage. It is envisioned that interested parties could use the guidance provided in this work to incorporate utility-scale energy storage into resource adequacy and system dispatch models for economic valuation during integrated resource plan (IRP) development.

Questions about the paper or analysis?  Contact Mike Starrett at the Council.