Obama Administration Announces Federal and Private Sector Actions on Scaling Renewable Energy and Storage with Smart Markets
President Obama believes in the need to transition to a cleaner, more reliable, and affordable 21st century power grid. Under his leadership, transformations in how we produce and consume electricity are decreasing carbon pollution, scaling up renewable energy, and generating savings on consumers’ energy bills. Since 2009, renewable energy generation has increased at a record pace, while costs have decreased dramatically. Building on this progress, smart electricity market reforms, enhanced transparency, and flexible energy resources such as storage and demand response have the potential to further accelerate the development of a cleaner and smarter grid. In fact, in 2015 alone, the United States doubled the installed capacity of advanced energy storage to 500 megawatts (MW) and deployment of this key resource is projected to continue to expand.
With this dynamic progress as the backdrop, today the White House is hosting a Summit on Scaling Renewable Energy and Storage with Smart Markets. The Summit brings together regulators, power companies, municipalities, and energy developers that are leading efforts to promote smart electricity markets and greater grid integration of renewable energy and flexible resources such as energy storage.
The Administration is announcing new executive actions and 33 state and private sector commitments that will accelerate the grid integration of renewable energy and storage. Together, these announcements are expected to result in at least 1.3 gigawatts of additional storage procurement or deployment in the next five years. These actions include:
A new report by the White House Council of Economic Advisers on the technical and economic considerations and opportunities relating to the grid integration of renewable energy resources.
The federal government committing to increasing its storage and microgrid capacity through programs that will make our federal and military bases more resilient and provide funding for microgrids in rural communities.
The U.S. Department of Energy promoting access to and standardization of energy data.
Sixteen developers and power companies in at least eight states announcing new storage procurement and deployment targets for the next five years.
Investors announcing $130 million in new funding commitments for energy storage.
In aggregate, these new procurement, deployment, and investment commitments announced today could lead to approximately $1 billion in investments in energy storage.
Power companies and developers committing to deploy smart water heaters, smart meters, and demand response programs.
Federal Executive Actions on Smart Markets and Energy Storage
White House Council of Economic Advisers is releasing a report titled “Incorporating Renewables into the Grid: Expanding Opportunities for Smart Markets and Energy Storage.” One of the report’s key findings is that current and projected levels of variable renewable energy resources are opening up opportunities for technologies such as energy storage and demand response to ensure the reliable and cost-effective supply of electricity. The report also finds that wholesale market reforms are already helping to enable these technologies to participate in some markets. Ongoing cost reductions and advancements in communication infrastructure are expected to further enhance the potential for these technologies going forward.
Increasing the Federal Government’s Storage Capacity: U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announces that it intends to issue a Request for Information about building-level energy storage to explore a number of possible storage solutions, in particular for emergency back-up (potentially to replace diesel generators), for enhancing resiliency, and for aiding in demand response management of peak loads.
Making Our Military Facilities More Resilient: The Navy’s Renewable Energy Program Office (REPO) and U.S. Air Force announce the following new projects and activities:
A new 50-100 MW grid-scale battery project that will be developed by a third-party developer at Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach in California.
A new 7 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) system with a 6 MW (18 MWh) battery system that will be developed by a third-party developer on the local grid at Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) in California. The project will serve NBVC during electric outages, covering over 65% of the base’s peak loads for up to 3 hours.
A battery second use (B2U) pilot project in Indiana with Naval Support Activity Crane, Duke Energy, and other stakeholders. The project will repurpose the Navy’s fleet of decommissioned submarine batteries into distributed energy resources to serve mission-critical loads. If the battery fleet is repurposed rather than recycled, the Navy’s overall battery capacity is projected to grow to 44 MWh by 2019.
U.S. Air Force
The Air Force’s Resilient Energy Demonstration Initiative (REDI) announces the release of a Request for Information to energy developers and technology companies to provide energy assurance services to critical facilities at Beale Air Force Base (AFB) in California. Concurrently, the REDI program is announcing the launch of a new energy assurance collaboration with industry at Beale AFB. The REDI program, which develops and deploys innovative energy resilience technologies and business models, will create a comprehensive energy assurance plan for Beale AFB by the end of 2016.
The Air Force Research Laboratory and the Hawaii Air National Guard announce the launch of the design phase of a new distributed energy microgrid project at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The project will demonstrate the ability to integrate and demonstrate multiple renewable energy and energy storage technologies, and provide the ability to power critical mission assets during energy disruptions.
The Air Force announces the launch of the Forward Operating Base of the Future project at Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA). The project will integrate renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy storage technologies into a simulated deployed environment. The project is expected to reduce the amount of fuel required to power forward operating bases by more than 85%.
Promoting Microgrids in Rural Communities: Navy’s Office of Naval Research announces funding for the Alaska Microgrid Innovation and Commercialization project at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The project will develop practical and cost-effective solutions for operating microgrids that incorporate significant renewable power generation, with a focus on the Arctic and other remote locations and austere conditions. This project builds on the Administration’s Clean Energy Solutions for Remote Communities initiative.
Enhancing Data Access and Sharing: The Department of Energy (DOE) announces the following pilots, studies, partnerships and other actions to continue enhancing data sharing and access for utilities and consumers:
DOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, in keeping with the Administration’s commitment to Smart Disclosure, will undertake an analysis of the private sector Green Button Alliance effort to ensure the pilot program is responsive to the consumer protection and privacy principles embodied in the DataGuard energy data privacy program. This analysis will promote confidence among customers who consent to contribute their data to the effort that their wishes for anonymity are respected, and among participating utilities that customer data privacy is part of the fundamental design of the program.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has developed a sophisticated model of the Eastern Interconnection to understand power system operations with hundreds of gigawatts of wind and solar meeting 30% of electricity needs. NREL commits to releasing in August 2016 the results of its study, including the power system model and visualization tools to enable academia and industry to explore the transition to renewable energy with more resolution than ever before. NREL also announces that it recently established the Utility Rate Data Working Group (URDWG), which will identify an appropriate machine-readable data standard for utility rate data and potentially demonstrate a proof of concept in collaboration with utilities, data users, and other relevant stakeholders. The URDWG will leverage the foundational work of the Utility Rate Database (URDB), which is produced by NREL on behalf of DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Program and includes more than 39,000 rates for over 3,700 utilities. The development of an easy-to-use machine-readable data solution will make it easier to update utility rates as they change over time, and also make utility rate information more accessible for utilities, energy companies, consumers, researchers and policymakers across the country.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) released, in April 2016, Phase I of a study for the California Public Utilities Commission leveraging smart meter data to estimate the potential for demand response and advanced behind-the-meter storage to provide cost-effective resources as part of California’s future electricity system. LBNL will continue to support research and analysis on grid modernization across the United States and is expanding on its Phase I with a Phase II report in the fall of 2016. The Phase II report will explore the potential for demand response and distributed energy resources to meet capacity, ancillary services, ramping, and flexibility needs in California.
Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently joined San Diego Gas & Electric’s Green Button Connect program, in which residential and commercial customers in San Diego can name EIA as an electronic recipient of their daily energy consumption data. EIA will use this to test direct data collection protocols that could be deployed on a larger scale. EIA will also launch a pilot collection in 2017 to sub meter and record consumption by end use consuming devices within typical American homes. Emerging sub metering technology will provide direct measurements of electric, natural gas, and water consumption and more accurate estimates of household demand than current modeling efforts allow.
State, Power Company and Non-Profit Announcements
Today, 16 leading grid operators, power companies, and community organizations in at least eight states are announcing new storage projects, procurement targets, pilot projects, and partnerships.
California Independent System Operator (CAISO) recently released draft study results demonstrating that a regional market would promote more renewable energy at a lower cost in the Western United States. CAISO commits to exploring the possibility of expanding its balancing authority across a larger geographic footprint to more efficiently optimize the grid and integrate renewable energy resources. CAISO also commits to developing business rules and procedures to coordinate operation of the transmission system with distribution systems operators that are experiencing a proliferation of distributed energy resources.
California Public Utilities Commission commits to developing a regulatory framework that enables a flexible, efficient, clean and reliable power grid. To accomplish this goal, California will continue to allow customers to effectively and efficiently choose from an array of distributed energy resources and promote the collection, analysis, and, where consistent with customer privacy protections, dissemination of smart meter and grid condition data.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts announces, as part of its Energy Storage Initiative, an initial $10 million investment for demonstration projects and a comprehensive study in order to identify the potential benefits of incorporating advanced storage technologies into the state’s energy portfolio. Conducted by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), the study seeks to analyze the national and Massachusetts storage industry landscape, review economic development and market opportunities for energy storage, and examine potential policies and programs that could be implemented to better support energy storage deployment. Following the release of this study in mid-2016, DOER and MassCEC will work with stakeholders to begin testing and implementing both the regulatory and the policy recommendations detailed therein, including grant opportunities to begin demonstration projects to further test the viability of energy storage technology and innovations in the Massachusetts energy market.
Community Storage Initiative (CSI) announces that it has been joined by over 40 organizations, including utilities, manufacturers, and technology suppliers. CSI was launched in February 2016 by the American Public Power Association, Edison Electric Institute, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Peak Load Management Alliance and the Natural Resources Defense Council. The CSI also announces the Inaugural CSI Leadership Forum on July 20 and 21, 2016 at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Over 100 leading practitioners will meet to exchange their experiences in and ideas for coordinating distributed energy storage resources that are located throughout a community.
Con Edison announces a new partnership with Siemens to use data from Con Edison’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure rollout, which will cover 4.8 million customers, to enable consumers to benefit from cost-effective renewable energy integration. The new system will make available detailed data for use by consumers and renewable energy providers for planning and economic analysis purposes, as well as time-varying price signals for when renewable energy production is most valuable to the grid. The initiative includes implementing Green Button Connect to allow customers to share data with third parties.
Duke Energy commits to deploy at least five megawatts of energy storage in the Asheville region of North Carolina. Energy storage, coupled with more efficient natural gas generation, solar power, and innovative customer solutions, will enable Duke Energy to maintain a high degree of energy reliability while also reducing its carbon footprint by closing all of its coal-fired power plants in the Asheville community.
Green Button Alliance announces its commitment to explore a pilot program to provide aggregated and anonymous energy usage information for research and the public benefit. The potential energy usage data pilot would entail a database of anonymous energy-use information from participating utilities that would be collected from smart meter deployments. By customer consent, the data would be made available in the standardized Green Button format to universities and research entities to study energy use patterns which could then be used for grid reliability and forecasting, infrastructure planning, or integration of distributed energy resources. Participants considering the viability of a potential pilot include Green Button Alliance founding utilities: Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, and London Hydro.
Green Mountain Power (GMP), building on its eHomes program, announces its partnership with Vermont’s Energy Efficiency Utility, Efficiency Vermont, and the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation to pilot a community-scale comprehensive energy transformation in Panton, Vermont in June 2016. The year-long project is expected to decrease energy usage, energy costs and carbon pollution. It will include town buildings, local businesses, 80% of the homes in Panton, and utility-scale solar paired with battery storage to microgrid parts of the town.
Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL), an AES Company, announces the commercial operation of a 20 MW energy storage array. This is the first grid-scale battery energy storage system in the 15-state Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) region. It is also the first grid-scale energy storage system in the United States that will be used to provide primary frequency response, an essential reliability service. IPL’s energy storage will enhance system reliability and help reduce costs and emissions across the electric system.
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) plans to procure 24 MW of energy storage by 2016 and commits to a target of 178 MW by 2021. LADWP also plans to procure 60 MW of demand response by 2016 and commits to target the procurement of 200 to 500 MW by 2026. LADWP will dedicate up to $2.9 million in funding for its Interval Data for Energy Efficiency effort in order to identify approximately 40 GWh in actionable savings at commercial and industrial customer sites. LADWP will also deploy its Sustainability Analytics Tool to premier accounts and major customers over the next year.
NextEra Energy’s Florida Power & Light (FPL) announces a pilot project to test storage technology applications under real-life conditions. FPL will install different types of battery systems in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties to research energy storage benefits, including: improved reliability for isolated areas and microgrid foundations via a battery back-up system to be built at the southern tip of Everglades National Park; reuse of electric vehicle batteries and “peak shaving” via small-scale installations in residential areas in Miami and repurposing “second-life” batteries from more than 200 electric vehicles; and mobile storage capacity to prevent power interruptions at major economically important events via a portable system to be tested during the 2017 Miami Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on Key Biscayne. These applications will also help with renewable integration as FPL continues to expand its use of solar energy to serve its 4.8 million customers.
Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) plans to invest approximately $3 billion a year through 2020 to make the grid more resilient and facilitate its vision of a grid that will integrate distributed solar, energy storage, electric vehicles and other low-carbon technologies. To facilitate the integration of distributed energy resources (DERs), PG&E is proposing five pilot projects to demonstrate: Dynamic Integrated Capacity Analysis methodology for integrating all line sections or nodes within a specific distribution planning area (DPA); Optimal Location Benefit Analysis methodology for a DPA that has one near-term and one longer-term distribution infrastructure project that can be deferred due to DER integration; DER locational benefits; distribution operations at high penetrations of DERs; and DER dispatch to meet reliability needs.
Portland General Electric (PGE) commits to implementing a new standard communication interface for smart water heaters that will enable customer-friendly and affordable large-scale residential demand response. PGE, Oregon’s largest electric utility company, is co-leading a market transformation effort with the Bonneville Power Administration that would replace the region’s 3.5 million water heaters with smart water heaters, creating a 10,000 MWh “battery” for less than $40/kWh, and will launch a mass-market water heater program pilot including these new technologies in 2017. PGE also commits to investing $366,000 in 2016 in energy storage research and development and early-stage technology deployment and to using smart meter data and distributed energy resources in its resource planning and investment decisions, including launching a second generation energy information system by the end of 2016. PGE is also announcing a pilot on time-variant prices for residential customers.
San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), as part of a pilot program, is planning to install 3,500 electric vehicle charging stations at businesses, in multi-family communities, and in underserved neighborhoods, all while maximizing the use of renewable energy to charge the cars. SDG&E recently signed a contract for a 20-MW energy storage facility, which would be the largest in the San Diego region, and expects to reach 165 MW of storage capacity by 2020.
Southern California Edison (SCE) commits to procuring at least 580 MW of energy storage projects by 2020 (which must be operational by 2024) to support grid optimization, renewable energy integration, and greenhouse gas reduction. SCE is also committing to offset local load growth through an additional planned procurement in 2016 of a minimum of 100 MW of clean energy resources. SCE will launch requests for offers for energy storage projects in 2016, including projects that could help maintain grid reliability to mitigate risks of outages caused by the limited operation of the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Facility.
U.S. Green Building Council and its sister organization Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), in partnership with Urban Ingenuity, announce a public-private convening on July 11 to support the District of Columbia’s efforts to encourage microgrid development. GBCI and the National Association of State Energy Offices commit to co-sponsoring at least two regional webinars in 2016 to engage utility and state stakeholders on smart grid development using PEER – the first ever rating system for power system performance – to advance innovative, more flexible, and affordable grids.
Developer, Manufacturer, and Investor Announcements
Today, 17 leading developers, companies, manufacturers and investors are announcing new pilot projects, storage and smart meter deployment targets and investment commitments.
Aclara commits to deploy 500,000 smart meters in partnership with utilities and customers with distributed solar by 2025 to provide data and communications infrastructure to enable the optimal grid integration of solar.