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New DOE-Backed Project Will Tackle Barriers to Energy Storage Interconnection

image credit: NREL

This item is part of the Special Issue - 07/2020 - Energy Storage, click here for more

Energy storage technologies have a crucial role to play in enabling the transition to a low-carbon economy. Despite significant growth of the energy storage market in recent years, the process of connecting this technology to the electricity grid remains complex and unclear in many states across the U.S. A new project, supported by a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office, aims to simplify the interconnection process for energy storage.

The project team, led by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), will identify and develop solutions to regulatory and technical barriers in the interconnection process of standalone energy storage and solar-plus-storage projects. From there, the team will create a nationally applicable toolkit of solutions that apply to diverse states and markets. Extensive training and educational outreach will drive adoption of the resulting solutions in a majority of states. Ultimately, the project aims to reduce the costs and time to process interconnection applications and interconnect energy storage and solar-plus-storage systems safely to the distribution grid.

In addition to IREC, the project team includes the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the Energy Storage Association (ESA), the California Solar & Storage Association (CALSSA), utilities New Hampshire Electric Cooperative Inc. (NHEC) and PacifiCorp, and law firm Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger, LLP (SMW). 

“In many states, if you propose a system with solar-plus-storage, the rules about how to interconnect to the grid are not at all clear,” explained Larry Sherwood, IREC President and CEO. “That creates a lot of uncertainty for developers, which increases costs and may scare them away from certain markets. As a result, the full benefits of storage are not realized. Establishing best practices for the interconnection of storage to the grid is critical to sustaining market growth and enabling significant clean energy deployment.”

To learn more about this initiative, visit  https://cutt.ly/storage-interconnection or subscribe to updates at https://cutt.ly/interconnection-updates

Media Contact: Gwen Brown, Communications Director, Interstate Renewable Energy Council | gwenb@irecusa.org

Discussions

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jul 27, 2020

That creates a lot of uncertainty for developers, which increases costs and may scare them away from certain markets. As a result, the full benefits of storage are not realized.

Why do you think this flaw has persisted-- was there just not enough interest or science to push forward and fix the flaw previously, or was there any sort of intentionality in leaving the market uncertain?

Gwendolyn Brown's picture

Thank Gwendolyn for the Post!

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