The 4 reasons grid-scale energy storage is the Next Big Thing

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By: SGN Staff

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Quick Take:  Chris Neider recently posted a roundup of grid-scale energy storage progress on the CBS News Smartplanet blog.

 

If you are a regular reader of Smart Grid News, then you've seen our coverage of all four of these individual topics. But Chris sets out a useful summary, and one with links to multiple references. - By Jesse Berst

 

1. California’s energy storage mandate

California already had America's most aggressive renewable portfolio standard, which mandates 33% of its electricity from renewables by 2020. Now it has America's first grid-scale storage mandate. By next March, utilities must submit applications to buy storage to supply 1% of projected peak demand for 2020. Pumped hydro is not eligible.

 

The mandate sets forth  targets for three storage applications: 1) transmission, 2) distribution and 3) customer applications.

 

2. Microgrids

Progressive utilities such as Duke Energy are piloting microgrids that include distributed renewables teamed with energy storage. Neider cites Duke projects in Notrees, Texas; Gaston County, North Carolina.; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Carmel, Indiana. He also links to a large commercial microgrid in Maryland and the Philadelphia Navy Yard storage test.

 

3. Storage as a service

Startup Stem just launched a financing model for energy storage in California. Stem installs the systems at its own cost, then leases them back to the customer.

 

4. Storage as capacity

Neider thinks this is the most exciting development of all. PJM Interconnection allow storage to bid in the capacity market. Until recently, the capacity market was strictly for large generators. By opening this door, "PJM could create a massive new market for both distributed and large centralized storage systems, which could lead to a total transformation of the U.S. grid and really level the playing field between distributed renewables, smart grid players, and conventional centralized power generators."

 

Jesse Berst is the founder and Chief Analyst of SGN and Chairman of the Smart Cities Council, an industry coalition.

 

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