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For Policymakers

A call to create a more sustainable energy future. 

Meeting the challenge of peak demand is a major driver in rising utility capital expenditures and negative consumer rate impacts. 

Traditional industry responses to the problem – building more peaking power plants and transmission lines – are increasingly costly and nearly impossible to site and approve. 

State mandates to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and integrate increasing amounts of generation from clean, renewable sources like wind and solar further complicate the equation. The sun doesn't always shine, and the wind doesn't always blow. But reliable electricity must always be there for homes and businesses when they need it.

Storage can help.

Ice Energy’s response to peak demand is clean, reliable, cost-effective and simple. By storing energy off-peak at the point of consumption at thousands of distributed locations, and delivering that energy during times of peak demand, distributed storage balances issues of affordability, reliability and environmental impact – without requiring additional infrastructure. 

Our solution can also help utilities more easily, affordably, and reliably meet their renewable energy goals. Ice’s intelligent energy storage solution can be installed quickly and deployed strategically to balance renewable resources like wind and solar, which are intermittent by nature and often naturally out of sync with peak demand. 

Storing power at the point of future consumption also relieves strain on the transmission and distribution infrastructure, reducing transmission losses associated with delivering that power over congested and thermally limited transmission and distribution lines.

But the answer can’t come from Ice Energy alone. 

In fact, without an increased focus on storage devices of all types, from all corners of our industry, it will be difficult for our country to meet proposed renewable electricity standards, or improve the efficiency, flexibility and reliability of the electric grid.

Energy storage manufacturers, grid operators, renewable energy developers, investors, policy makers and others must work together to overcome the barriers to greater deployment of energy storage. In particular, regulators and legislators have critical roles to play in the development of storage and the thousands of new green collar jobs it represents. Just as they did in the growth and of the wind and solar industries before it.

Bills like California’s recently passed AB 2514 represent a good start at the state level. AB 2514 calls on the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to open a proceeding to establish a common framework for valuing the costs and benefits associated with storage, to help ensure that regulated utilities consider storage alongside other options for meeting reliability needs. In doing so, the bill it will bring various stakeholders together and elevate storage into the daily discussions about how we serve future energy needs. What role will storage play, at the lowest possible cost and in an environmentally responsible manner?

On the Federal level, bills like last year’s STORAGE Act can help extend tax credits, financial incentives and loan guarantees to energy storage projects, while the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, and many state PUCs are taking steps to understand how to value storage in a regulatory sense, and to measure its cost-effectiveness. 

Who can own storage? Should storage be a separate asset class? Is it appropriate for utilities to own it? If so, under what model, what rate of return?

Together, we need a framework for answering these questions and driving storage forward. It is in the best interest of the utilities, ratepayers, and all of us.


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