March 2, 2022

Enabling Principles for Dual Participation by Energy Storage as a Transmission and Market Asset


Because the electric transmission system is sized to meet the highest levels of customer demand, much of its designed capacity goes unused during average operating conditions. As a uniquely flexible and scalable asset capable of providing multiple grid services, energy storage can be deployed to support the transmission system and then also provide services to energy markets when not needed for transmission. This paper reviews the technical barriers in transmission planning practices and energy market design that prevent the realization of dual-use energy storage projects that provide both regulated transmission and competitive market services. Current practices create barriers against the identification of energy storage in the transmission planning process and against the participation of a regulated transmission asset in competitive energy markets. A review of regional transmission plans identifies best practices for including energy storage in the planning process by directing planners to proactively identify such projects or by providing clear mechanisms for stakeholders to propose them. Creating a market participation model for dual-use energy storage assets requires establishing when an asset will be allowed to participate in the market, how it will participate in the market, and where it will recover its costs. In answering these questions, key principles must be satisfied, such as prioritizing reliability, incrementally building on existing market design, and balancing competing objectives. Several policy options exist for satisfying those principles, giving grid operators and stakeholders significant flexibility in developing a dual-use participation model in accordance with regional policies and conditions. By objectively framing the issue and identifying policy options, this paper may inform subsequent proceedings on dual-use energy storage and be a resource to regional market operators, utilities, developers, regulators, policymakers, and other stakeholders as they collectively work on this complex issue.

Published: March 2, 2022


Twitchell J.B., D. Bhatnagar, S.E. Barrows, and K. Mongird. 2022. Enabling Principles for Dual Participation by Energy Storage as a Transmission and Market Asset Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.