Beacon Power Corp. has announced that its flywheel energy storage systems will now be able to provide frequency regulation under a new tariff designed specifically for “stored energy resources” on the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (ISO) power grid. The favorable ruling by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Dec. 18, 2008, created the first energy storage-specific tariff in the United States. The Midwest ISO is expected to become the largest or second largest competitive market for frequency regulation in the nation.
“This decision by FERC is the most progressive and important step yet taken by regulators to encourage open-market access for energy storage technologies,” said Bill Capp, Beacon president and CEO. “The commissioners voiced their appreciation of the benefits that energy storage can bring to the grid, including higher reliability and lower CO2 emissions. In approving this tariff, they have underscored that technical innovation remains a top FERC priority.”
Judith Judson, director of regulatory and market affairs for Beacon, added, “We believe the Midwest ISO market rule structure is an excellent model that other ISOs might consider for their markets. We have encouraged that thinking in our comments and regulatory filings related to other ISO regions. The Midwest ISO is to be commended for its forward thinking and timely actions in developing this new tariff. We’re also grateful to FERC for its visionary leadership and recognition of the value of stored energy resources for grid regulation, including Beacon Power’s fast-response flywheels.”
In voting unanimously to approve the tariff structure, several FERC commissioners cited the benefits of energy storage in providing the regulation ancillary service. Commissioner Suedeen Kelly said, “I also wanted to note my support for the role that stored energy resources will have in the ancillary services market. These are important resources and I believe the market will function better by allowing them to participate.”
Implementation of the new Midwest ISO Ancillary Services Market tariff is scheduled to begin on Jan. 6, 2009, while the provisions of the tariff that relate to stored energy resources, which include Beacon’s flywheel systems, are currently scheduled to become effective in June 2009. The Midwest ISO will use the time between the opening of the Ancillary Services Market and the implementation of the stored energy resource tariff provisions to develop, test, and integrate the additional software and systems required to accommodate these resources