CPUC and FERC continue to roll out requirements supporting the development of energy storage technologies to deal with the grid intermittency created by high levels of renewable integration.
As a result of this there is growing interest in concentrated solar power (CSP) as a procurement option. The strongest storage mandate to date has been set out by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The 1.3GW storage requirement which must be met by three major investor owned Californian utilities by 2020 has driven investment into a vast array of storage technologies. This however is far from the only regulatory driver for investment in energy storage technologies. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in 2011 issued Order 755 that increased the pay for batteries and in 2013 FERC Order 792 added energy storage as a power source which can connect to the grid and listed storage as an ancillary service making it a stronger commercial proposition.
At present many storage technologies are in early stage development, whereas concentrated solar power has been proven to work on a utility scale deployment. CSP developer Abengoa’s 280MW Solana plant in Arizona which became operational in 2013 has 6 hours of molten salt storage and was recently highlighted as an exemplary model by the Department of Energy (DOE) as a successful energy storage project. In a recent interview Markets Researcher at CSP Today Marco Geraghty said that, “Utilities are currently showing a huge interest in CSP – they are under pressure to fulfil both renewable and storage quotas and with CSP they can effectively meet both”.
Utilities have so far procured over 1.8GW of CSP projects most of which has recently been completed or is nearing completion. This includes the high profile 392MW Ivanpah plant; the plant was inaugurated by U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz last month and is currently the world’s largest CSP plant.
At CSP Today USA 2014 (5-6, June Las Vegas) procurement specialists from major South-Western utilities Pacific Gas & Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric, Arizona Public Service and NV Energy will be discussing the potential for sourcing CSP. Solana developer Abengoa will also be speaking about the Solana project and its storage capabilities. Regulators from the DOE, California and FERC will also be addressing the incentives which can be put into place for CSP development. If you want to learn more about CSP Today USA 2014 then please visit http://csptoday.com/usa/