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California ISO Board Smooths Path for Energy Storage Participation

Measures include improving the bidding options to better accommodate a resource’s limitations.

The California Independent System Operator (ISO) Board of Governors has approved measures to further enhance the ability of energy storage and distributed energy resources (DER), including demand response, to efficiently participate in the wholesale markets. Separately, the Board accepted eight new provisions to enhance the ISO’s ability to more efficiently manage the generation interconnection study and approval process.

While the energy storage and DER measures are technical refinements, they include improving the bidding options to better accommodate a resource’s limitations. For instance, some demand response resources need time to respond and cannot immediately react to a real-time dispatch.

Another new bidding provision enables distribution-network connected battery storage to absorb energy during oversupply conditions and return it when needed.

The interconnection enhancements are designed to provide new resources with connection options as well as a way for energy storage to continue to offer services to the grid.

As the custom at its September meetings, the Board received an update on expiring reliability must-run power plants and if their designations should be extended. ISO management recommended extending the contracts for Dynegy Oakland and the Gilroy Energy Center generating units through calendar year 2019. The Metcalf Energy Center contract will expire at the end of this year.

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