1. 1-10 of 10
    1. Senate Energy Committee Talks Energy Storage, Hurricane Response, and Grid Resiliency

      Senate Energy Committee Talks Energy Storage, Hurricane Response, and Grid Resiliency

      On Tuesday, October 4, the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a full committee hearing to discuss the status and future of energy storage technologies. Committee Chairman Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AL) opened the hearing discussing the recent massive power outages caused by hurricanes in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Texas, and Florida. In the wake of these disasters, she emphasized consideration of energy storage technologies as part of grid reliability and resilience in rebuilding programs. Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) urged that a supplemental aid package assisting Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands should be a bipartisan effort aimed at rebuilding grid infrastructure in a renewable and sustainable way, with energy storage technologies an important part of the solution.

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      Mentions: DoE U.S. Minnesota
    2. Companies Tap Into Battery Power to Cut Energy Bills

      Companies Tap Into Battery Power to Cut Energy Bills

      All kinds of companies are using batteries to cut expenses and reduce demand for new power plants. Over the past few years, there has been a major upward tick in the number of U.S. companies that have started installing batteries to store electricity for later use. Last year, Cargill Inc. reported that it had installed two megawatt-hours of batteries to provide extra power at certain times of the day at its plant in Fresno, California. The batteries are expected to help save about $100,000 a year on power expenses. More recently, J.C. Penney Co. Inc. announced that it had installed batteries in six of its Southern California stores and has plans to install batteries at three additional stores this year as well as 14 more next year. The batteries provide about 35 kilowatts of power for roughly two hours, which translate into $6,000 a year on savings on its power bills. To learn more about the upward trend in battery installations and use, read on!

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    3. FERC Accepts PJM Capacity Performance Proposal

      FERC Accepts PJM Capacity Performance Proposal

      On June 9, 2015, FERC issued an order accepting PJM’s proposal to modify its forward capacity market, the Reliability Pricing Model (“RPM”), to establish a new capacity product, the Capacity Performance Resource. PJM’s proposal is designed to tighten the performance standards applicable to resources that receive a capacity obligation through the RPM and is intended to address poor resource performance that has been experienced since implementation of the RPM, especially during the 2014 polar vortex.

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      Mentions: FERC PJM
    4. Colorado PUC Considers Distributed Energy Storage Challenges and Opportunities

      Colorado PUC Considers Distributed Energy Storage Challenges and Opportunities

      Ben Kaun, Senior Project Manager in the Electric Power Research Institute’s (EPRI) Energy Storage Program, provided an overview of the varying roles energy storage systems can play including functioning as a capacity resource, supporting the grid through flexible ramping, voltage control, and renewable integration, and providing grid reliability and resiliency services. 

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      Mentions: Spain MD CO
    5. PJM Interconnection Proposes New Generator Capacity Performance Rules to Provide Stronger Performance Incentives and Operational Availability During Peak Conditions

      PJM Interconnection Proposes New Generator Capacity Performance Rules to Provide Stronger Performance Incentives and Operational Availability During Peak Conditions

      On August 20, 2014, PJM Interconnection (PJM) proposed changes to their capacity market to address reliability concerns highlighted by generator performance during the 2013-2014 winter season, during which up to 22% of PJM capacity was unavailable due to cold-weather issues. The purpose of this proposal is to provide details regarding PJM’s proposed initial solution to issues identified in PJM’s August 1, 2014 whitepaper entitled “Problem Statement on PJM Capacity Performance Definition.” PJM expects the solutions detailed in this proposal will be adapted through discussions with stakeholders.

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      Mentions: U.S. FERC PJM
    6. New York Explores a “Fundamental” Restructuring of Electric Utilities

      New York Explores a “Fundamental” Restructuring of Electric Utilities

      What is the structure and role of the utility of the future?  New York is initiating a regulatory process to begin answering this question. New York is considering “a substantial transformation of electric utility practices” to improve efficiency, empower customer choice and encourage greater penetration of clean generation and efficiency technologies, according to the NY Public Service Commission.  In an April 25, 2014 order, the agency launched an initiative to consider “fundamental changes” in the way electric utilities provide service, aimed at least in part toward reducing peak demand and encouraging behind-the-meter resources as ways of both reducing the substantial investment that would otherwise be needed in remote generators and delivery infrastructure and mitigating the vulnerabilities of the distribution system to increasingly severe weather events.

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      Mentions: FERC NY
    7. Commission Holds Roundtable Discussion with Stakeholders on Compensation for Reactive Power

      Commission Holds Roundtable Discussion with Stakeholders on Compensation for Reactive Power

      While the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) has never required a uniform structure for reactive power compensation, in light of the growing number of new technologies, particularly wind and solar photovoltaic generation facilities, the changing landscape of the electricity industry and emerging reliability concerns, the Commission held a workshop on April 22, 2014 to examine the third-party provision of reactive supply and voltage control and regulation and frequency response services.  The Commission is seeking more information on the technical, economic and market issues concerning the provision of these particular ancillary services before it determines if, and how, it will revise its regulations to increase transparency around payment for these services. 

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      Mentions: FERC
    8. Congress Passes Two Hydropower Bills (affect pumped storage)

      Congress Passes Two Hydropower Bills (affect pumped storage)

      Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013 (“HERA”) also requires FERC to study the possibility of creating a two-year license process for closed-loop pumped storage projects at non-power dams. Similarly, it requires DOE to study the technical feasibility of retrofitting pumped storage facilities to generate renewable power intermittently within one year.

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      Mentions: DoE U.S. OR
    9. Annual Battery Show Set for September Re: Advanced Energy Storage

      Annual Battery Show Set for September Re: Advanced Energy Storage

      The dates for this year's Battery Show in Novi (Michigan) are September 17-19.  Co-located with the show this year will be the Charging Infrastructure Expo and the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Technology Conference and Expo. The show is expected to focus on advanced energy storage and will host the latest advanced battery solutions for electric and hybrid vehicles, utility and renewable energy support, portable electronics, medical technology, military and telecommunications.

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      Mentions: MI
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