February 26, 2018
Web Feature

Energy Storage Seminar Brings Together Western Regulatory Agencies

Participant feedback will help design future research for DOE's Energy Storage Program


Nearly 40 participants attended the November 6 energy storage seminar geared towards regulatory agency staff in the western United States.

An energy storage seminar geared towards regulatory agency staff from the western United States was held November 6 at the Western Electricity Coordination Council(Offsite link) offices in Salt Lake City. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, with sponsorship from DOE’s Energy Storage Program, coordinated the seminar. Sandia National Laboratories(Offsite link) also supported the event with presentations and participation.

Nearly 40 participants from the majority of states in the Western Interconnection, Hawaii, and the Western Electricity Coordinating Council attended the seminar. The seminar covered recent energy storage activities undertaken by each state; the research work, including technologies, valuation, and regulatory models, developed by DOE; and the next steps for associated research programs that will address each state’s needs.

DOE’s Energy Storage Program has tasked PNNL with engaging with state regulatory agencies to identify policy barriers for energy storage deployment and develop analytical tools that the agencies can use to address these barriers. Feedback from agency staff who participated in the seminar will be used by PNNL to design future research objectives for the DOE Energy Storage Program in 2018 and beyond. It will also help shape the next event that will focus on the eastern United States.

Presentations(Offsite link) included:

  • An overview of state-by-state energy storage activities by PNNL’s Alan Cooke and Rebecca O’Neil.
  • An overview of DOE’s Energy Storage Program by Imre Gyuk(Offsite link), director of the program.
  • Technologies and cost trends related to grid-scale energy storage, given by PNNL energy storage leader Vincent Sprenkle.
  • A discussion of energy storage valuation given by PNNL’s Patrick Balducci and Michael Kintner-Meyer as well as Sandia National Laboratories’ Ray Byrne(Offsite link).
  • A discussion of distribution system planning from a regulatory perspective, given by PNNL’s Juliet Homer in collaboration with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Lisa Schwartz(Offsite link).

“The goal of this event was to ensure a baseline understanding of storage technologies and economics, and facilitate an exchange about the role of storage in regulatory proceedings around the west,” said Rebecca O’Neil, who was the key organizer of the seminar. “Each state looks at storage a little differently, and we wanted to ‘daylight’ those differences and see where the next generation of research should focus.”

DOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability(Offsite link) maintains the Energy Storage Program, which focuses on grid-scale energy storage technology advancement involving the entire spectrum—from materials research through device development, systems development, deployment, and analysis. More about the seminar(Offsite link).

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Published: February 26, 2018