As municipal, state, and federal governments push toward zero-carbon generation in the United States, more intermittent renewable resources, primarily solar and wind energy, are being added to the grid. These resources do not produce a constant supply of electricity, requiring back-up power that can ramp up quickly. Batteries are a key back-up power source.  In response, large-scale battery storage has grown rapidly. Based on recent installations and projections of continued trends, by 2023, the grid will host ten times the amount of battery storage installed in 2019.

The policy environment for distributed energy and energy storage is also in flux.  For example, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission substantially advanced storage opportunities when it issued Order 841 in 2018, directing grid operators to write rules that allow energy storage resources to sell electricity and services in wholesale markets for electricity. Although regulatory actions like FERC’s open up many opportunities for energy storage, rules continue to raise barriers to energy storage in markets, such as requirements for minimum bid prices in some of the market run by Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) and Independent System Operators (ISOs). Municipal and state regulations, as well as grid interconnection processes, can also pose regulatory challenges to energy storage deployment and market participation.

The Center for Energy Law and Policy is undertaking a program of interdisciplinary research that will evaluate this emerging policy environment for distributed energy and battery energy storage in Pennsylvania (which is part of the multi-state PJM electricity market and thus subject to recent FERC orders on distributed energy and energy storage) and devise technical solutions for the operation of distributed energy storage systems that maximize the value of these systems in this emerging market environment.

This work is being generously supported by Penn State’s Commonwealth Campus Center Nodes (C3N) Program.

The interdisciplinary team working on this project includes:

  • Bhanu Babaiahgari, PhD, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering, Penn State Hazleton
  • Seth Blumsack, PhD, Professor of Energy Policy and Economics and International Affairs; Co-Director of Center for Energy Law and Policy
  • Mesude Bayrakci-Boz, PhD, Assistant Professor of Engineering, Penn State Hazleton
  • Michael Helbing, JD, Center for Energy Law and Policy
  • Daniel J. Mallinson, PhD, Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Administration, Penn State Harrisburg
  • Hannah Wiseman, JD, Professor of Law; Professor and Wilson Faculty Fellow, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences; Co-Director, Center for Energy Law and Policy

Related Publications:

We will post publications here as they become available.