ISO-NE files comments as part of proposed FERC rules on energy storage

Comments highlight grid operator’s support of proposal goals

ISO New England filed comments with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on February 13, 2017, in response to the commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR), which is aimed at better integrating emerging energy storage technologies and distributed energy resources into organized wholesale electric markets.

FERC launched the NOPR process on November 17, 2016, out of concern that new storage technologies and distributed energy resources face barriers to participating in wholesale markets across the country. The proposal looks to establish market rules that better accommodate the physical and operational characteristics of battery storage technologies and to enable participation of aggregations of distributed energy resources.

ISO New England supports the effort to minimize barriers in the markets for these emerging technologies. However, the ISO is urging the commission to focus on desired outcomes, rather than trying to establish “one-size-fits-all” requirements that do not recognize the individual characteristics of different ISOs and RTOs.

In addition, ISO New England believes the timeline described in the NOPR may not be adequate for the required changes to be developed and implemented, particularly given other significant market changes already underway.

In the filing to FERC, ISO New England also noted the long history that energy storage resources, which historically have been pumped storage facilities, have participated in New England’s energy markets. As new battery storage technologies have developed, they have presented new opportunities, such as the ability to transition from supplying to consuming power relatively seamlessly. ISO New England has previously adjusted market rules to better accommodate these new technologies into the region’s Regulation and Energy Markets.

Storage technology is developing rapidly and is expected to have increased levels of participation in the markets in coming years as costs associated with storage continue to decline and levels of intermittent renewable resources in the markets continue to increase. Massachusetts officials recently announced the state intends to set a goal for energy storage deployment. Currently, more than 90 megawatts (MW) of storage systems are in the ISO’s interconnection queue.

To better assist energy storage facility owners, ISO New England has developed a paper on How Energy Storage Can Participate in New England’s Wholesale Electricity Markets.

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