If we learn anything from the Texas blackouts, and the death and suffering that have resulted, it should be this: distributed resilient solar+storage systems are no longer a luxury – they are an essential tool to protect citizens from power outages, and modernize the grid so outages become less frequent and severe.
If utilities are to address increasing renewable penetration and 100% clean energy state policy goals, as well as calls for increased resiliency, distributed storage must be brought to scale and harnessed to provide real grid benefits.
Last year, with technical support from Clean Energy Group, Massachusetts became the first state to officially incorporate behind-the-meter battery storage into its energy efficiency plan, and utilities began enrolling customers across the state in a groundbreaking pay-for-performance program.
This morning, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit upheld a major federal rule (FERC Order 841) that should lead to significantly expanded battery storage use in wholesale markets across America.
As we look forward to an uncertain future with COVID-19 and energy security, it is important to develop new solutions that will put resilient solar and storage within reach for everyone, including those most vulnerable to power outages and the health impacts that could result from them.
FERC voted this week to uphold its landmark Order 841, which states that the nation’s electric grid operators (RTOs and ISOs) must allow energy storage resources fair and equal access to provide services in regional wholesale energy markets.
When Massachusetts took the nation-leading step of integrating energy storage into its energy efficiency plan this year, it didn’t just add a new technology. It consummated a decade-long, slow-motion embrace of an important new form of efficiency.
Energy storage has been the coming thing for years. Now, it’s arrived – as an efficiency measure.
Massachusetts’ Advancing Commonwealth Energy Storage (ACES) grant program was created to jump-start the energy storage industry by piloting innovative, broadly-replicable demonstration projects with multiple value streams, thereby priming Massachusetts for increased commercialization and deployment.
Last month’s FERC order 841 was hailed by some as a watershed moment in energy storage history, but the devil’s in the implementation.