CT should use backup batteries to conserve power

“The big debate there,” said Gordon van Welie, CEO of ISO-New England, “is can you do it the way Texas does it, which is an energy-only market? Or do you need a capacity market?

Capacity markets aim to ensure grid reliability by paying participants to commit generation to delivery years into the future. Power-only markets, on the other hand, pay generators only when they provide power on a daily basis.

How about a third way: one where power companies incentivize their customers to maintain battery backup systems that fill in when there’s excess power on the grid and draw when there’s a large demand

The following list of Connecticut Utility regulations…

Sec. 16-243n. Time of use, mandatory peak, shoulder, low and seasonal rates. Load response rates or optional interruptibles.Sec. 16-243h. Credit to residential customers who generate electricity; measurement. Sec. 16-243i. Awards to retail electricity end-use customers.

….shows that a lot of thought has gone into various schemes to smooth power output with demand, but these rules were legislated in 2005.

Since then, particularly this year, a cobalt-free, high-power-density, long-life LFP (Lithium Iron Phosphate) battery suitable for incentivizing retail and commercial customers to purchase and install battery packs is doing what in 2005 was not thought possible.

The state legislature should draw input from utilities and consumers to develop regulations to take advantage of this new resource, making it worthwhile for consumers to invest in battery packs to reduce wasted energy generated at times of lower demand.

Vincent Arguimbau lives in Darien.

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