The use of storage as a transmission asset is currently being debated in venues including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said Jason Burwen, vice president for policy at the U.S. Energy Storage Association.
“Transmission and distribution planning have generally not been conducted with a strong ethic of competition or a sense that you can provide things other than conventional wires infrastructure,” Burwen said.
Much of the biggest battery development is happening in states where utilities are required to purchase resource adequacy. Their solicitations weigh the costs and benefits of batteries versus renewables and gas for delivering capacity at peak times, and award bankable, long-term contracts.
“It’s important to consider that the way things are paid for matters just as much as whether they’re paid for,” Burwen said.