Pennsylvania PUC looking for public comment on electricity storage to bank grid power

24 August 2023- The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today sought comments from interested parties on a PUC policy statement that proposes guidelines for the use of electricity storage by electric distribution companies (EDC) – encouraging a transition toward a future that accommodates evolving needs of customers and helping to enhance the reliability and resilience of the electric distribution grid in Pennsylvania.

The PUC voted 5-0 today to publish the proposed policy statement for public comment. This action follows the review and analysis of two rounds of public comment on matters related to electric storage, received from more than 30 organizations, advocates, utilities, state agencies, customer groups, and other interested parties.

The proposed policy statement acknowledges that electricity-storage assets can assist in various engineered reliability solutions.  As such, electricity-storage can be used by EDCs to maintain or to increase the reliability or the resilience of the electric distribution system.  The policy statement encourages the consideration of such assets when cost effective and proper and encourages EDCs to consider electricity-storage assets as part of system planning.

“Continued advancement in energy storage technology, namely batteries, has led it to become both a viable generation resource as well as a newly viable non-wires alternative for transmission and distribution planning,” noted PUC Chairman Gladys Brown Dutrieuille and Vice Chairman Stephen M. DeFrank in a joint statement at today’s PUC public meeting. “Energy storage can provide grid stability through services such as peak demand shifting, supplemental power, restoration, and voltage support. Therefore, we are pleased to take this next step in encouraging EDCs to utilize cost effective energy storage as a distribution resource.”

The proposed policy statement will be forwarded to the Governor’s Budget Office for review of fiscal impact and then published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, interested parties will have 30 days from the date of publication to file comments and 45 days to file any reply comments.

Interested persons are encouraged to eFile comments through the Commission’s eFiling System, which is available free of charge by following the filing instructions on the Commission’s website.  If you do not eFile, then you are required to mail, preferable by overnight delivery, one original filing, signed and dated, with the Commission’s Secretary at: Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Commonwealth Keystone Building 2nd Floor, 400 North Street, Harrisburg, PA 17120.  Comments must reference Docket No. M-2020-3022877.  Please note: Comments containing confidential information should be emailed to Commission Secretary Rosemary Chiavetta at rather than eFiled.