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.