Apple has long been a supporter of renewable energy, pushing towards using alternative energy to power its worldwide operations. Now, an energy trade associate that includes Apple has expressed its support for a proposal from the U.S. energy regulator that would make it easer to participate in wholesale markets for energy storage and distributed energy resources…
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The trade association, known as Advanced Energy Economy, hopes that the removal of barriers on energy storage at the regulatory level will make it easier and cheaper to store energy. In addition to Apple, other members of the Advanced Energy Economy association are Johnson Controls, Schneider Electric, GE, energy storage maker AES, and solar giants SunPower and First Solar.
As we noted on our sister site Electrek, the removal of barriers to participate in wholesale markets for energy storage means a few things. The central point is that the Federal Energy Regulation Commission rules who can connect what to the power grid. Thus, FERC has ruled that battery systems are an appropriate method by which to receive income from the power grid.
This essentially means that utility and large commercial/industrial scale batteries will become significantly more financially viable.
The ruling was initially made back in November and FERC has been soliciting opinions on the ruling ever since. Despite the ruling, however, there are more steps before actual changes can be made, as explained by v:
The NOPR was issued in November last year and proposed to integrate electricity storage into organised markets, specifically the wholesale markets operated by the US’ Regional Transmission Organisations (RTOs) and Independent System Operators (ISOs), which between them ensure the reliability of the majority of the country’s electricity supplies.
In order to remove barriers to participation in these markets, RTOs and ISOs would be required to alter tariff structures in order to recognise specific characteristics of energy storage resources and give energy storage operators a new classification for their assets.
Apple’s support of energy storage shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise. The company has long been a supporter of renewable energy, continually expanding its solar efforts. Apple already powers its operations in the United States and 21 other countries by renewable energy and continues to push towards powering all of its worldwide operations in such a way. Apple also recently won regulatory approval to begin selling excess energy from its solar farms.