For optimal grid operation, grid assets need to respond quickly, particularly for frequency regulation and demand response. Technologies that decrease response times provide tremendous value. Utility-scale batteries can provide the grid with flexibility on a minute-by-minute basis and should be evaluated accordingly. Many utilities currently only offer hourly pricing information to the public. Without sub-hourly pricing information, utility-scale battery companies cannot prove the full extent of the value of their product. The battery industry needs system-level data in order to prove its commercial case and demonstrate the potential cost-savings for ratepayers.
The public and private sectors have developed modeling tools that evaluate the benefits of utility-scale batteries, across a wide range of parameters. For example, Alevo and E3 have developed proprietary modeling tools. These tools provide the most accurate results when sub-hourly pricing information is used.
State lawmakers could require that all in-state utilities provide cost of service data transparency, which would allow the utility-scale battery industry to demonstrate the feasibility and potential cost savings of deployment. Utilities currently collect this data, but do not make it available to industry players. Armed with full information, the industry could prove its value to ratepayers and the grid as a whole. This requirement would not impact customer-related information or privacy.