Energy Storage Study team discusses what they’ve learned at second stakeholder meeting

The second North Carolina Energy Storage Study Stakeholder Input Meeting was held on June 27 at NC State University.

In response to House Bill 589, NC State researchers, including NCCETC, began a study of energy storage technologies late last year to address how energy storage can provide value to North Carolina consumers based on factors such as capital investment, value to the electric grid, net utility savings, net job creation, impact on consumer rates and service quality, and any other factors related to deploying one or more of these technologies. The study addresses the feasibility of energy storage technology use in North Carolina, including any grid services that energy storage could provide, the potential economic impact of energy storage deployment for electricity ratepayers, and the identification of existing policies and recommended policy changes that may be considered to address a statewide coordinated energy storage policy.

North Carolina’s power sector faces a rapidly increasing penetration of renewable energy, as well as economic and environmental pressures to decrease coal production, according to the project proposal. Energy storage may present a solution to ensure reliable service, decrease costs to ratepayers, and reduce the environmental impacts of electricity production.

“Storage is a critical piece of the puzzle to allow clean energy resources achieve their full potential in North Carolina,” said Steve Kalland, Executive Director for the NC Clean Energy Technology Center. “It’s what takes intermittent resources like solar and wind and makes them even more of a significant part of our energy mix. It’s also a key tool to improve electricity service resiliency for citizens and businesses in our state.”

“Storage gives greater flexibility and ability for electric utilities, the military, critical resources like hospitals and first responders, and our business community the ability to reliably serve their functions,” Kalland said.

Kalland said he considers the study a success so far. With the progress made, however, questions have been uncovered that may require additional study beyond the conclusion at the end of the year — such as the coming convergence of electrified transportation and the power grid.

“This initial study has a lot of different facets to it, so wrapping our arms around it is a huge task,” Kalland said. “But we’re doing our best to hit the high value opportunities.”

The next stakeholder meeting is tentatively scheduled for late September 2018. The final results will be provided to the Energy Policy Council and the Joint Legislative Commission on Energy Policy by December 2018.

Learn more about the storage study at energy.ncsu.edu/storage. Viewers are encouraged to examine the project group’s citation database, which can be viewed here. Stakeholders interested in having a more detailed meeting with NC State research team members to discuss their specific interests can reach out to schedule time to meet by emailing Steve Kalland at steve_kalland@ncsu.edu.

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