Full Title: Energy Storage for Winter Grid Reliability: How Batteries Became the Low-Cost Solution for Power Assurance in Massachusetts
Author(s): Applied Economics Clinic, Clean Energy Group
Publisher(s): Applied Economics Clinic, Clean Energy Group
Publication Date: December 2, 2021
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Winter electric peaking capacity (called “winter reliability” in New England) provides an important value
to the electric grid by helping to avoid winter blackouts. As heating and transportation are increasingly
electrified to meet climate goals, winter peak energy needs will grow; and as fossil–fueled generators are
phased out due to emissions caps, new, clean sources of winter peaking capacity will need to be found.
Although winter peaking capacity has traditionally been provided by gas and oil peaking generators
(peaker plants), it can also be provided by cleaner, “behind–the–meter” customer resources such as
battery storage. Currently, this service is undervalued in the Massachusetts programs that provide
battery customers with performance payments to supply power back to the grid at times of high
demand. These customer performance payments should be adjusted to reflect the true value of winter
electric peaking capacity in the region.
This report examines the current pricing and valuation of winter peaking resources in Massachusetts.