Category: Energy Storage

1
K&L Gates is Pleased to Introduce the Energy Storage Handbook
2
Senate Energy Committee Talks Energy Storage, Hurricane Response, and Grid Resiliency
3
Please Join Us: Energy Storage, Distributed Generation, and the Evolving Grid: Policy Developments and Market Opportunities
4
Illinois District Court Rejects Federal Preemption Challenges to State Zero-Emissions Credit Program
5
Maryland Issues Request for Proposals for Renewable Energy and Energy Storage Projects
6
CPUC Requires Additional 500 MW of Energy Storage from California IOUs
7
Trade Group Complains that PJM’s Frequency Regulation System Unduly Discriminates Against Energy Storage Resources
8
WUTC Proposes Changes to Planning Paradigms and IRP Models for Energy Storage Technologies
9
MassCEC Solicits Proposals for Innovative Energy Storage Uses Cases and Business Models
10
FERC Issues Policy Statement on Cost Recovery for Electric Storage Resources, But the Devil Will Be in the “Implementation Details”

K&L Gates is Pleased to Introduce the Energy Storage Handbook

As a courtesy to our clients and friends, the K&L Gates Power practice has prepared a new resource for you – the Energy Storage Handbook.

Designed as a basic primer on what energy storage is, how it is regulated and what sorts of issues are encountered when such projects are financed and developed, the Handbook is intended to highlight the most common regulatory and developmental issues faced by our clients and the industries we serve.

We hope you find this inaugural edition of the Energy Storage Handbook of interest, and we welcome any feedback and suggestions for future editions.

To view the Energy Storage Handbook, please click here.

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

By Jim Wrathall and Kristin Hoeberlein

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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Please Join Us: Energy Storage, Distributed Generation, and the Evolving Grid: Policy Developments and Market Opportunities

Please join us at our Washington, D.C. office on Wednesday, October 11 for a day of insightful discussions with other leading energy professionals on the evolving opportunities and challenges in the energy storage and distributed energy resource industries. Our experienced panelists will discuss the rapidly changing regulatory landscape of energy storage and DER industries, and share real life stories on how these changes are shifting markets and creating new opportunities for utilities, developers, consultants, and financiers.

Agenda topics will include:

  • Federal and state regulatory developments and predictions – and the corresponding market creation and disruption
  • Will the President’s Agenda on Energy and Infrastructure Impact the Development of Markets for Storage and Distributed Energy Resources
  • Monetization and Financing for Energy Storage Projects
  • How Technology and Innovation are Affecting the Utility Business Model and Creating Opportunities for Storage and DER Development

After the program, please join us for a networking reception.

To learn more about this event and to register, click here.

This event is hosted in partnership with the Energy Storage Association and the Edison Electric Institute.

Illinois District Court Rejects Federal Preemption Challenges to State Zero-Emissions Credit Program

By Molly Suda, Donald A. Kaplan, William M. Keyser, John L. Longstreth, and Elizabeth P. Trinkle

UPDATE: On July 25, 2017, the New York court issued its decision, which also upheld New York’s ZEC program. We will have more analysis of that decision in a later post.

On July 14, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois issued an opinion dismissing challenges to the state of Illinois’ zero-emissions credit (“ZEC”) program. Illinois’ ZECs are tradable credits created by statute that, in the court’s words, put “money in the coffers of Exelon from the sale of ZECs that will give it a benefit when pricing its energy in the wholesale market relative to competing energy producers that do not receive ZEC payments.” The ZECs represent the zero-emissions attributes of nuclear power and would provide additional revenue for nuclear power plants, whose owners state they are unable to cover their costs in the current low-price wholesale energy and capacity markets.

In its decision in the companion cases Village of Old Mill Creek v. Star and Electric Power Supply Association v. Star upholding the ZEC program, the court rejected arguments that Illinois’ program is preempted by the Federal Power Act and further concluded that ZECs do not discriminate under the dormant commerce or equal protection clauses. If affirmed on appeal, the opinion could have important implications for the future of other states’ programs aimed at supporting at-risk nuclear power plants and may influence the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (“FERC”) outlook on its role in integrating state programs and policies into wholesale energy markets.

To read the full alert on K&L Gates HUB, click here.

Maryland Issues Request for Proposals for Renewable Energy and Energy Storage Projects

By William M. Keyser and Elizabeth P. Trinkle

The Maryland Department of Transportation (“MDOT”) has issued a request for proposals (“RFP”) to create a Master Services Agreement (“MSA”) to select contracts to design, construct, finance, and operate renewable energy facilities and energy storage projects at MDOT locations throughout the State of Maryland.  The terms of the MSA will be five years, with an optional two year extension.

The scope of the RFP encompasses solar, geothermal and microhydropower renewable energy systems. In addition to traditional renewable energy facilities, bidders may also propose energy storage systems and microgrid development. Bidders are encouraged to find cost-effective project financing, and the contractor will be responsible for applying for and obtaining incentives offered by the State of Maryland.  Proposals are to be submitted in two parts:  Part I should include the technical aspects of the project, and Part II should contain the pricing information required by the RFP.   Read More

CPUC Requires Additional 500 MW of Energy Storage from California IOUs

By Buck Endemann, William Holmes, Andrea Lucan

Under AB 2514, California’s landmark energy storage law passed in 2013, California’s three Investor-Owned Utilities (“IOUs”) (Southern California Edison (“SCE”), Pacific Gas & Electric (“PG&E”), and San Diego Gas & Electric (“SDG&E”)) are required to install 1,325 MW of energy storage by 2024.[1]  Recent California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) decisionmaking under a later-passed energy storage law, however, has added an additional 500 MW to the IOUs’ procurement obligations. Read More

Trade Group Complains that PJM’s Frequency Regulation System Unduly Discriminates Against Energy Storage Resources

By William M. Keyser, Molly Suda, and Michael L. O’Neill                     

The Energy Storage Association (ESA) filed a complaint with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) alleging that PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (PJM) has adjusted its system operations to unduly discriminate against certain market participants.  ESA argues that PJM changed the rules of its frequency regulation market, without prior FERC approval, and that those rule changes unduly discriminate against limited energy resource participants, such as energy storage providers.

FERC has set May 15, 2017, as the deadline for parties to comment, intervene, or protest ESA’s complaint.  Commenting and/or intervention are important procedural tools that allow interested parties to protect and advocate for their interests.  Given the potentially broad impact of this complaint on PJM’s energy and frequency regulation market design, numerous entities may seek to participate in this proceeding.  K&L Gates will continue to follow this proceeding closely.

To read the full alert on K&L Gates HUB, click here.

WUTC Proposes Changes to Planning Paradigms and IRP Models for Energy Storage Technologies

By Vanessa Pronovost, Eric Jay, Molly Suda, and William Holmes

The Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission (the “WUTC”) has issued a Draft Report and Policy Statement on Treatment of Energy Storage Technologies in Integrated Resource Planning and Resource Acquisition (the “Draft Report”) in connection with two consolidated dockets, UE-151069 and U-161024 (the “Dockets”).  The Draft Report is intended to provide useful guidance regarding energy storage technologies to investor-owned utilities (“IOUs”), vendors seeking to promote energy storage for use by IOUs, and anyone interested in the use of energy storage on electric distribution systems.  The WUTC is seeking comments to the Draft Report by 5:00 pm on Monday, April 3, 2017 for the WUTC’s consideration in preparing its final policy statement on the Dockets.

Before issuing the Draft Report, the WUTC held two formal workshops and solicited two rounds of comments.  Commenters generally agreed that current integrated resource planning (“IRP”) models are inadequate for purposes of capturing the benefits of energy storage technologies.  The following is a summary of the WUTC’s conclusions and guidance with respect to investments in energy storage technologies.

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MassCEC Solicits Proposals for Innovative Energy Storage Uses Cases and Business Models

By William H. Holmes, Molly Suda, and Michael L. O’Neill

On March 9, 2017, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) issued a Request for Proposals for the “Advancing Clean Energy Storage” (ACES) Program.  MassCEC is offering up to $10 million in funding for energy storage demonstration projects that “pilot innovative, broadly replicable energy storage use cases/business models with multiple value streams in order to prime Massachusetts for increased commercialization and deployment of storage technologies.”  The organization expects to make 10-15 awards of between $100,000 and $1,250,000 each. Applications are due to MassCEC by 4 pm Eastern Time on June 9, 2017.

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FERC Issues Policy Statement on Cost Recovery for Electric Storage Resources, But the Devil Will Be in the “Implementation Details”

By Molly K. Suda, William H. Holmes, and Buck B. Endemann

Last week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) issued a Policy Statement to provide guidance for electric storage resource owners and operators that may seek to receive cost-based rate recovery for certain services, as well as market-based revenues for other services.[1]  The Policy Statement explains that an electric storage resource may provide transmission or grid support services at a cost-based rate, while also participating in the wholesale energy markets administered by a regional transmission organization (“RTO”) or independent system operator (“ISO”) and earning market-based revenues.  As described below, the Policy Statement eliminates some uncertainty created by prior FERC precedent, which limited electric storage resources’ ability simultaneously to provide transmission or grid support services at cost-based rates and also participate in the wholesale markets.

However, the path forward for electric storage resources to “stack” payment streams and recover costs through both cost-based and market-based rates will not be without obstacles.  The Policy Statement acknowledges that “implementation details” will need to be addressed.  Additionally, FERC Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur dissented, disagreeing with the Policy Statement’s broad statements that electric storage resources’ ability to recovery costs through both cost-based and market-based rates will not adversely impact other market competitors.  Commissioner LaFleur also disagreed with the decision to address the issue of electric storage resources’ ability to recover costs through both cost-based and market-based rates in a proceeding separate from the pending Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on electric storage’s participation in RTO/ISO markets (“Electric Storage NOPR”).[2]  Thus, while the Policy Statement removes some uncertainty, electric storage resources will likely still have to grapple with cost recovery, competition, and other issues on a case-by-case basis.

This alert provides background on the Commission’s prior precedent related to electric storage resources and cost-based recovery, as well as the Commission’s recent efforts in several open proceedings to address potential barriers to the further development of electric storage resources.  Provided below is a summary of the Commission’s Policy Statement, as well as an overview of open questions and unresolved issues that are intertwined with issues presented in the Commission’s Electric Storage NOPR and other recent orders.

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