The Commission to Study the Economic, Environmental and Energy Benefits of Energy Storage to the Maine Electricity Industry has issued its report to the Legislature.
The Commission unanimously agreed on the benefits of energy storage, making the following four findings:
- Energy storage has the potential to reduce costs and improve reliability;
- Energy storage complements and supports renewable energy;
- Energy storage technology is dynamic and evolving and presents cost-effective options; and
- Energy storage development may be inhibited by market barriers or a lack of clear regulatory signals.
The Commission also recommended the following seven action items to capture the economic, environmental and energy benefits of energy storage:
- Establish state targets for energy storage development;
- Encourage energy storage paired with renewable and distributed generation resources;
- Advance energy storage as an energy efficiency resource;
- Address electricity rate design issues relating to time variation in costs;
- Clarify utility ownership of energy storage;
- Advocate for energy storage consideration in regional wholesale markets; and
- Conduct an in-depth Maine-specific analysis of energy storage costs, benefits and opportunities.
Further, the Commission developed model draft language to address its recommendations, including for example, a short-term goal for Maine of reaching 100 MW of energy storage capacity located in Maine by the end of 2025. The Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee is expected to consider the report during the current legislative session.