Energy storage is a difficult resource to pin down. When it’s charging it can be an electrical load. When it’s discharging it can be a generator. Energy storage can be a demand response resource. It can provide instant power to relieve grid congestion. This versatility is part of what makes energy storage such a varied and valuable asset. This versatility also leads to an important question: What role should utilities play in ownership of energy storage resources? A strong case can be made for treating energy storage deployed as a distribution system resource as a natural utility asset. But what if that same resource discharges energy to participate in utility calls for frequency regulation? Or to fill a need for generation in order to meet peak demand on a hot summer day? Should a utility be allowed to own a dispatchable resource that could be in direct competition with independently owned energy resources? This is primarily a concern in deregulated states like Texas, New York, an... Read the Full Post »