Aggregated energy storage and DERs, perhaps similar to this behind-the-meter Virtual Power Plant project pictured being switched on in Canada a couple of years ago, could be futher enabled by FERC's ruling. Image: Powerstream.
A unanimous vote taken by the US regulator FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) which would allow energy storage and other distributed energy resources to play into wholesale markets has been hailed as a “significant step” forward.
FERC voted 5-0 in Item E-1, a draft ‘Final Rule on Electric Storage Resource Participation in Markets Operated by Regional Transmission Organisations, or RTOs, and Independent System Operators, or ISOs’. The rule sets out frameworks through which electricity storage can participate in various capacity, energy and ancillary services markets operated by RTOs and ISOs - the operators of the US’ transmission and distribution (T&D) networks.
While the commissioners accepted this entrance of energy storage to be a desirable and perhaps inevitable outcome, there is still one further hoop for the rule making to pass through - a technical conference will be convened in April by FERC to gather information on all of the proposed and potential reforms to the way distributed energy resources can be aggregated on electricity networks.
RTOs and ISOs are asked to establish participation models for storage in the wholesale markets of their service areas, including technical parameters, minimum resource size requirements and eligibility. The drafted Final Rule also “requires that the sale of electric energy from the RTO or ISO market to an electric storage resource that the resource then resells back to those markets must be at the wholesale locational marginal price”.
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