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Microgrid Knowledge: Texas Customers Could Save $5.47 Billion with DERs, but Regulations Must Change

Posted by Lisa Cohn on Nov 20, 2019

Microgrid Knowledge featured Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliances (TAEBA's) latest report detailing how Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) can reduce energy costs and included quotes by TAEBA's Suzanne Bertin. Read excerpts below and the entire Microgrid Knowledge piece here.that was flagged by Nov. 20 Texas Electric News and covered by Energy Central, and GTM Squared (sub. req.).  

Texas consumers could save $5.47 billion over ten years with distributed energy resources (DERs), but regulations must change to realize these benefits. A study by Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance (TAEBA) identified two ways DERs can reduce costs:

  • Act as non-wires alternatives to avoid investment in transmission and distribution ($2.45 billion over ten years)
  • Decrease peak energy costs in the wholesale market which is worth $3.01 billion

Because much of the study is based on 2018 data, these savings estimates don’t incorporate the fact that prices for peaking energy last summer jumped as high as a whopping $9,000/MWh. “Even though this report looked at the ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) market specifically, it still is indicative of the value DERs bring in other markets as well,” said Suzanne Bertin, managing director, TAEBA. “That’s money that is right on the bottom line in terms of what customers have to pay for electricity...”

The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) opened a project (48023) to begin looking at how the state can better integrate non-traditional technology into delivery services. One of the main issues focuses on whether utilities in this deregulated market can own technology such as storage.

The commission put that project on hold so the legislature could try to clarify the issue, said Bertin. A bill in the state Legislature, SB 1941, would have prohibited utilities from owning storage but would allow them to contract for those services and earn a return on the contracts. TAEBA supported that bill, but it never made it to the state House of Representatives.

TAEBA now wants the PUC to take another look at the issue and provide a more transparent planning process...

Like other grid operators, ERCOT is concerned about its lack of visibility into distribution-level assets and their affect on the bulk system. “We need to work out the details to make that work end to end,” said Bertin. ERCOT issued a market notice to inform market participants of its proposals to ensure distribution-level generation resources are reliable...

Read the entire Microgrid Knowledge piece here that was flagged by Nov. 20 Texas Electric News) and covered by Energy Central, and GTM Squared (sub. req.).  

Topics: AEE In The News