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Tools for Utilities to Comply with California’s Energy Storage Mandate

DNV Kema LogoLast week, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) proposed a mandate requiring 1.3 GW of energy storage statewide by 2020, and utilities are scrambling to submit plans by a January 2014 deadline that shows the energy storage resources they will tap to be compliant with the mandate.

As energy storage shifts gears and ramps up rapidly, service providers like DNV Kema Energy & Sustainability have come up with analytical tools utilities can use to assemble their game plan and work out its economic viability. The company announced this week that it has launched a custom set of energy storage valuation tools that will help utilities with their increasing need for energy storage assessment.

DNV Kema says its valuation service will offer utilities engineering advice, analytical tool kits customized to specific utility grids, a recommended energy storage portfolio, a feasible plan for scaled deployment to maximize return on investment, and a multi-year roadmap to adoption of energy storage technologies and compliance with the CPUC mandate.

The consulting company says it will also guide utilities on what their outlay should be and when they will see a payback. It has a simulation tool that will help utility companies assess hundreds of different scenarios before determining what their optimal approach should be.

Compared with previous tools that gave “typical” economic recommendations based on simpler analysis, Kema claims its new service applies tools that conduct systems analysis at the engineering level, examining energy storage performance over years or within seconds, with comprehensive detail and accuracy. It can examine storage at multiple points of the grid and compares energy storage from varied ownership models.

DNV Kema’s service analyzes specific economic and operational factors – including cost, efficiency, reliability, and dispatchability controls for multiple applications – to assemble a portfolio of energy storage that it says will be compliant and financially viable.

With energy storage emerging as the next big opportunity, tools that quantify the cost-effectiveness of different technologies have begun popping up.

In June, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) launched an analytical tool that quantifies the value and assesses the cost-effectiveness of energy storage.  The software enables utilities, regulators and other stakeholders to determine the economics of energy storage and better assess its viability and role in their systems. The tool was recently demonstrated in an analysis of the value of energy storage in 31 scenarios identified by the CPUC staff and included storage applications, technologies, product configurations, market conditions, and grid locations. These cases were defined and prioritized by the CPUC and tailored to its specific inputs.

Image credit: DNV Kema


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