House members to question role of storage for grid

Source: Sam Mintz, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, July 17, 2018

House lawmakers will examine the role that energy storage plays in the U.S. electric system this week, as part of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s series of hearings studying the grid.

The Energy Subcommittee will look at the growth of utility-scale storage in the country and how storage can be used in wholesale electricity markets.

“Large-scale energy storage offers a wide range of applications and provides many services that can improve the reliability and resiliency of the U.S. electric grid,” said Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the subcommittee.

“While the costs of energy storage devices are declining, there are still several deterrents to greater deployment of energy storage. I look forward to hearing from our witnesses to see how we can remove barriers to energy storage participation in markets,” Upton said.

A recent ruling from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which changed market rules to facilitate the participation of storage resources, was cheered both by industry and environmentalists (Greenwire, Feb. 15).

But as Upton mentioned, there are still some limiting factors that the young storage industry has to overcome, including economic, regulatory and market barriers. A February report from the Brattle Group noted that while the FERC order could spur the development of as much as 50,000 megawatts of storage, the technology is still expensive at larger scales and is not often considered during transmission planning.

Schedule: The hearing is Wednesday, July 18, at 9 a.m. in 2322 Rayburn.