State Regulators Approve APS Battery Storage Program
State regulators have approved a program to promote battery storage technology in Arizona Public Service territory.
The program is one of the utility’s energy efficiency programs, known as a demand-side management plan, for 2016.
The residential battery storage program is a new endeavor for the state’s largest utility and driven by the growth of distributed energy resources, most notably rooftop solar. Storage technology is evolving rapidly and will help reduce customers’ energy demand, especially during peak hours including late afternoon and evening.
This $4 million program will explore how the utility can integrate storage into the grid and use that to cut down peak demand.
Scott Bordenkircher, a director at APS, said they will develop the specific projects over the next four months.
“How can we use energy storage that saves on peak energy usage?” Bordenkircher said. For example, “flattening out our load curve so our peak isn’t happening as high in the evenings.”
For instance, Bordenkircher said they might install a battery for a particular customer who has rooftop solar or in areas of the system where there’s already a high penetration of solar.
He said APS believes these kinds of projects will ultimately have a greater payoff for all ratepayers than individual customers buying their own battery systems.