6 Foundational Policies to Integrate Renewables on the Grid

Storage Report COVERSo what happens when the sun doesn’t shine and a breeze doesn’t blow? Because renewable resources like solar and wind offer only intermittent access, storage technologies are front and center in multiple issues that will determine what our clean energy future will look like.

Storage, in fact, has the potential to resolve many challenges associated with integrating large amounts of renewables on the distribution grid.

IREC set out to identify the key regulatory changes states might consider in the near term to facilitate rollout of distributed energy storage in a manner that captures the greatest benefits and promotes a healthy market for storage services.  

In a 2015 IREC report, Deploying Distributed Energy Storage: Near Term Regulatory Considerations to Maximize Benefits Sky Stanfield, lead author and senior special counsel for Shute, Mihaly, Weinberger, attorneys for IREC, examines a number of policies.

According to Stanfield, the complexity lies in identifying all the basic regulatory and market structures needed to make the costs and benefits flow appropriately. “Certain foundational policies will be necessary and should be tackled first,” she says. Here’s her short list:

  • Design rate structures that send appropriate economic signals to distributed energy storage (DES) customers.
  • Open markets for ancillary services and demand response.
  • Ensure DES systems have a clear path to fair and efficient interconnection.
  • Address net energy metering opportunities for storage systems.
  • Consider DES solutions in the context of broad distribution planning.
  • Ensure sufficient but not duplicative oversight of DES safety.

Download the report.

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