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Charged: U.S. energy regulators issue a new storage rule with important implications for EVs

Posted by Tom Ewing on Jun 7, 2018

This electric vehicles magazine piece describes how recent FERC energy storage rules impact the evolving EV market. Read the entire Charged article here. Excerpts below:

In March, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a rule requiring regional electrical grid operators to revise their regulations pertaining to energy storage and how storage resources might participate in electricity markets.

The piece goes on to discuss the implications of FERC's ruling and the core issues ISOs/RTOs must address:

First, because the regional Independent System Operators (ISOs) and Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) set the policies that integrate a diverse mix of power resources into the electrical grid. ISOs/RTOs serve two thirds of US electricity consumers and more than half of Canadian customers.

Second, in addition to moving people around town and across country, EVs can function as stored energy resources, especially when aggregated – deliberately linked via smart charging technology and software. With that functionality, EVs present grid operators with a cumulative asset capable of storing energy from the grid, then returning that energy when needed. EVs can also provide what are called ancillary services, for example, maintaining proper voltage and frequencies, or load following, i.e. responding to the ups and downs of system demand.

AEE perspective's is included toward the end:

Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) – a national business group whose work focuses on a secure, clean, and affordable global energy system – filed extensive comments with FERC. Overall, after reviewing FERC’s final rule, AEE’s team was pleased with the direction and content of FERC’s decision-making.

Maria Robinson, AEE’s Director of Wholesale Markets, noted that while there is certainly plenty of “devil in the details” work to come, FERC’s final rule “gets this topic moving. It sets certainty for markets and gives a sense of certainty for investors.” She noted the value of FERC’s singular authority – without it, many of the difficult issues in the proposed rule might instead have to await policy and regulatory proceedings in multiple settings, perhaps even among the individual states. FERC’s move was progressive, in a wholesale kind of way.

Jeff Dennis, AEE’s Counsel for Wholesale Markets and Regulatory Affairs, said the big advance with the storage rule was that FERC removes technical barriers; the rule establishes that “sources can provide services in different ways.” Dennis noted that FERC’s definition of storage – receiving and sending energy – creates “a pathway for other hardware changes.” Importantly, he added, these are changes “at scale,” affecting big territories, big enough to make a difference.

See the entire Charged article here.

Topics: AEE In The News