Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Norman Bay said Thursday the commission staff would likely examine steps to ease the transition for large batteries onto the nation’s power grid.
Energy storage has been a hot topic among power analysts of late for its potential to allow wind turbines and solar panels, which only generate electricity in stops and starts, a greater role on the grid.
“Developments in storage have the potential to bring economic and reliability benefits to consumers, perhaps even to be game changers,” Bay said at the IHS CERAWeek conference in Houston. “Everybody recognizes costs will decline, but the question is how much and how soon.”
Right now costs remain high, limiting roll out of storage to power markets like California’s where the price of electricity runs particularly high.
But Bay cited recent analysis stating that energy storage costs should decrease 50 percent over the next five years.
“To the point where in some markets energy storage systems could be cost competitive with conventional [peaking plants],” he said.