FERC seeks comments on rates, accounting for storage technologies

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requests comments on rates, accounting, and financial reporting for new electricity storage technologies as well as traditional pumped-storage hydropower.

FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff told a Senate Committee in December that the commission would work to help reduce barriers and ensure appropriate tariff treatment for increased development of electricity storage technologies including pumped storage. (HydroWorld 12/16/09)

As part of that effort, the commission issued a request for comments June 14 in order to better understand the various ways electricity storage can be used, where those uses would fall within established jurisdictional boundaries, and the appropriate rate treatment, accounting classification, and reporting requirements for those uses.

Storage can improve grid optimization via energy arbitrage, defer the need for transmission investments to meet peak load, provide backup power, and provide ancillary services such as regulation service. FERC has issued preliminary permits for pumped storage totaling more than 27,000 MW. It also is eyeing other storage technologies including flywheels, grid-scale batteries, and use of batteries in idle electric vehicles.

“The only electricity storage technology that has been widely adopted to date, pumped-storage hydropower, was generally built at a time when the majority of utility assets were constructed by vertically integrated load-serving utilities at retail ratepayer expense,” FERC said. “In many parts of the country today, entities other than vertically integrated load-serving utilities have expressed interest in building and owning electric storage assets of varying sizes.”

The agency said suggested business models range from traditional cost-of-service rates to competing in wholesale commodity trading. FERC added that its accounting and financial reporting requirements do not contain specific accounting, functional classification, and related FERC Form 1 reporting requirements for new storage technologies.

The commission issued a document on alternatives for categorizing and compensating storage services as well as ideas on how best to develop rate policies that accommodate the flexibility of storage. The document and attached request for comment, Docket No. AD10-13, may be obtained from the FERC Internet site, www.ferc.gov, under www.ferc.gov/news/headlines/2010/2010-2/06-14-10-notice.pdf.

Comments are due by 45 days after the notice is published in the Federal Register.

For technical information, contact Rahim Amerkhail, Office of Energy Policy and Innovation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First St., N.E., Washington, DC 20426; (1) 202-502-8266; E-mail: rahim.amerkhail@ferc.gov.  For accounting information, contact Christopher Handy, Office of Enforcement, at the same FERC address; (1) 202-502-6496; E-mail: christopher.handy@ferc.gov.  

Previous articleConsultants sought to advance Grand Inga, other major hydropower projects in Africa
Next articleCorporate leaders push for renewable energy development

No posts to display