The Context for Energy Storage to Facilitate Renewable Electricity in Minnesota

The objective of this paper is to assess the need for energy storage to facilitate increased penetration of variable renewable generation (VG) in the regional electric system that serves Minnesota. Thus it is as much about that system and electric systems in general as it is about electricity storage.  

Recommendations based on this study are that:
  • Minnesota should not provide incentives for energy storage or otherwise encourage energy storage with the intent of enabling increasing penetrations of renewable generation unless it is shown that (a) the electric system will have difficulty integrating the target levels of renewables without storage and (b) storage is economically competitive with other alternatives to manage these levels of renewables.
  • Minnesota should support the concept of limited storage demonstration projects to gain experience with storage in transmission-level applications.
  • Minnesota should support limited storage demonstration projects in distribution-level applications only if there is a policy rationale to encourage more expensive distributed VG as opposed to utility-scale VG or to provide distribution system benefits not related to VG.
  • Minnesota should support efforts to develop improved processes and tools that will help to more fully quantify the value of storage in electric system planning and optimize the use of storage in electric system operation. 

Full Report (PDF)
The Context for Energy Storage to Facilitate Renewable Electricity in Minnesota