ORIGINAL REPORTING: New Hampshire settlement moves 'cutting-edge' utility BTM storage pilot forward
New Hampshire settlement moves 'cutting-edge' utility BTM storage pilot forward; The Liberty-led pilot will be the second regulator approved program for utility-owned behind-the-meter storage, and phase 2 will be the first to include the private sector.
Herman K. Trabish, Nov. 27, 2018 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: This concept is being tested in markets across the country but there have been no major breakthroughs yet.
New Hampshire has given U.S. utilities a template for a groundbreaking utility-owned, customer-sited battery energy storage pilot. Liberty Utilities has proposed a pilot that will initiate one of the most ambitious tests of a utility's ability to use behind-the-meter battery storage systems. A settlement that will move the 12-month proceeding forward was agreed to Nov. 19 by environmental and consumer advocates. Because it would be only the second regulator-approved program for utility ownership of behind the meter resources in the country, third-party solar-plus-storage installers Sunrun and ReVision Energy did not sign on to the final settlement. But, appeased by the promise of a major role in the program's phase two, which would be one of the first in the U.S. to include private sector participation alongside the utility, they elected not to oppose it.
"The utility's insistence on owning batteries makes it an outlier nationally, but the program as a whole puts Liberty at the cutting-edge on the battery use case," Sunrun Director for Policy and Storage Market Strategy Chris Rauscher told Utility Dive. Many investor-owned utilities are using batteries to shave peak demand, provide grid services and make utility systems more flexible. But those projects are subcontracted to third-party providers. Stakeholders in New Hampshire's DE 17-189 proceeding are no longer leaving battery storage to the private sector. Liberty must now demonstrate it can cut peak system demand and deliver a positive net present value (NPV) to its customers. If it can, opportunities may open up for bigger accomplishments in grid modernization and other forward-looking New Hampshire regulatory dockets… click here for more
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