Interconnection procedures are the rules of the road for the grid. Without common rules and predictable processes, gridlock and costly projects can result. In IREC’s recently released 2019 Model Interconnection Procedures, we take the first steps toward defining a clear interconnection process for energy storage systems to provide a useful starting point for states navigating these issues.
Recently, the Silver State set itself apart from the pack with a landmark regulatory decision on interconnection rules for energy storage to explicitly allow distributed energy storage systems to connect to the grid and clarify the process projects would undergo as they seek interconnection. IREC played a leading role in advancing these reforms and negotiating the settlement among involved parties.
So 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.
Sky Stanfield, attorney for IREC, laid out six foundational regulatory policies for deploying large amounts of renewable energy on the grid at Renewable Energy World North America and PowerGenWeek recently.
A landmark report from Clean Power Research for IREC proposes a methodology for the value of solar PV+energy storage that could be used in any location.
The concept of adding batteries alongside a utility customer’s solar array intrigues utility customers, solar developers and utility planners on several levels, but the underlying question for everyone is whether adding batteries is “worth it.”
Technology Advancements Alone Won’t Bring Energy Storage to Market – Regulatory Reform is Equally Important
It is widely recognized that distributed energy storage can offer a host of benefits to utilities, storage customers and ratepayers. It is particularly true that energy storage has enormous potential to ease the integration of high levels of renewable energy onto the electric grid. However, as it stands today, the regulatory and market policies in the electricity sector are not yet positioned to enable energy storage developers and customers to deploy the technology in a manner that ensures access to the full range of benefits it can offer.
As the percentage of electricity generated from renewable energy sources continues to grow in the U.S., particularly from solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, technologies that can facilitate increased deployment of renewable energy, such as distributed energy storage, are front and center in state and national discussions. A report released today by IREC offers independent insight on how to address these new challenges – and opportunities – in the regulatory arena.