The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has voted unanimously to remove market barriers that kept energy storage out of the country’s wholesale electricity grid.
The February 15 decision “removes barriers to the participation of electric storage resources in the capacity, energy, and ancillary services markets operated by Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators,” Renewable Energy World reports, citing a FERC release. The commission also voted to “continue studying how aggregated distributed energy resources (DERs) like solar, electric vehicles, demand response, and behind-the-meter batteries could participate in the wholesale markets.”
The order recognizes that “given the ongoing changes in our nation’s resource mix, and the changing capabilities needed to serve customers, electric storage is poised to provide a critically important role,” said FERC Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur. While it may be a cliché to call energy storage a game-changer, she added, “it is also true.”
Energy Storage Association CEO Kelly Speakes-Backman said the decision “signaled both a recognition of the value provided by storage today, and more importantly, a clear vision of the role electric storage can play, given a clear pathway to wholesale market participation.”
Advanced Energy Economy Senior Vice President Malcolm Woolf called it a “significant step toward removing barriers that keep advanced energy technologies from competing in wholesale electricity markets on the basis of their ability to improve the reliability, resilience, and affordability of our energy system. Energy storage can help reduce costs to consumers and ensure that the lights stay on.”