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U.S. regulators have leveled the playing field for batteries and other forms of energy storage, voting to eliminate market barriers for those technologies, reports Bloomberg.
In February, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) finalized a rule that will let energy storage compete against power plants and other resources in wholesale power markets. Under the rule, technologies such as batteries and flywheel systems can be used by grid operators to dispatch power, set energy prices and offer capacity, energy and ancillary services.
“Our job is not to pick winners and losers,” said FERC chairman Kevin McIntyre before the vote, adding that the final rule will ensure all resources are allowed to compete fairly.
Companies have pushed regulators for years to remove barriers to storage. The commission’s latest move comes more than a year after it first proposed changing market rules to accommodate storage, and after California issued its own rules on the matter.
Even without the federal ruling, batteries are already helping renewables edge out fossil fuels in power markets across the country. In Arizona, First Solar Inc.’s proposal to build a 65-megawatt solar farm with a 50-megawatt battery system beat out bids from power plants burning cheap gas. (Source: Bloomberg)
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