Storage Forum to explore Future Energy Markets

By ISO Staff |

With storage development growing rapidly in California and across the country, the California ISO is hosting the Storage Forum - Energy Markets for the Future, a virtual event, this Thursday, October 28. The purpose of the event is to explore energy markets and tools that may be needed to operate electricity grids in the future, when they rely extensively on renewable energy and storage resources.

The Forum, from noon to 3 p.m. PDT, will feature a select panel of storage and energy experts addressing a range of important questions related to deployment of energy storage on the grid.

Some of the topics that will be discussed are:

How do electricity market products compensate storage?

What market products may be necessary in the future to accommodate storage?

Are additional modeling enhancements necessary to accommodate storage?

Do markets today favor one technology type over another?

Should models or markets be updated to accommodate certain technology types?

These questions have taken on greater urgency in California as the ISO has integrated an 8-fold increase in storage capacity on the grid over the past year, with more on the way. Last summer, there was about 250 megawatts (MW) of lithium-ion battery storage on the grid and there now is almost 2,000 MW on-line. The California ISO anticipates another 1,000 MW of storage integrated onto the grid before the end of 2021.

“Storage resources are critical for reliable grid operation as we continue to de-carbonize. Thus, we will continue to see tremendous growth in storage during the future. In the meantime, the ISO must continue to develop markets and tools that accommodate these new resources,” said Gabe Murtaugh, the ISO’s storage sector manager.

“For example, new concepts such as ‘state of charge,’ which does not apply to our traditional fleet of energy generators, need to be incorporated into ISO models. The limited nature of storage must also be accounted for and to ensure reliable grid operations. This forum will provide the opportunity to see what some of the leading experts on these and other issues think about what might work best.”

With retirements of older gas generators, storage has become crucial in California to meet demand during hot summer days. The ISO’s grid operators, for example, said storage added this summer helped keep supply and demand balanced during the toughest periods of the day by charging in the afternoon when solar is abundant and delivering that power during evening hours when it was needed the most.

Thursday’s Forum will begin with opening remarks from Elliot Mainzer, the ISO’s president and CEO. There will also be an overview of storage participation in organized markets today by the ISO’s Murtaugh.

That will be followed by a panel of experts that includes: Mark Ahlstrom, VP, NextEra Energy Resources and NextEra Analytics; Dr. Ross Baldick, Professor Emeritus, University of Texas, Austin; Dr. Luke Lavin, Researcher III, National Renewable Energy Laboratory; and Dr. Ramteen Sioshansi, Professor and associate fellow, Ohio State University. The session will be moderated by Dr. Benjamin F. Hobbs, Theodore M. and Kay W. Schad Chair of Environmental Management, Johns Hopkins University.

There will be an opportunity for audience questions in written format for the panel to address during the discussion. To register and learn more about the agenda and speakers, please click here.

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