Unlocking the Grid: Overcoming Barriers to Electricity Storage in Alberta

The Conference Board of Canada, 15 pages, August 6, 2020
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Energy storage technology can help stabilize electricity loads and reduce generation surpluses. But for Alberta to realize the benefits of energy storage, market and regulatory reforms are necessary. This briefing looks at what needs to be done.

Document Highlights

Reforming the regulatory landscape around energy storage reduces uncertainties around market access and revenue. But current regulations are restricting energy storage from fully contributing to a modern electricity grid. The structure of Alberta’s grid and the framework that governs its operation need modernizing. Some highlights:

  • Storage systems have to be economic. Governments can encourage storage research and development by extending wind and solar subsidies.
  • Storage provides a net benefit to the grid, most notably by providing balancing and contingency services. Alberta could follow California’s example by altering the fee structure for storage connections and launching an expedited interconnection process.
  • Storage owners require access to timely demand information. This would ensure that storage assets provide optimal benefits to the grid.
  • To encourage transparency and knowledge sharing, the federal government could require utilities to record and report all storage-related activities.

Table of Contents

  • Key findings
  • Introduction
  • Can energy storage help?
  • Storage 101
  • Barriers to deployment
  • Unlocking potential

Appendix A—Methodology

Appendix B—Bibliography

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