On Friday June 17th, Texas Governor Rick Perry recently signed into law the right for large energy storage projects – such as those using battery or flywheel technologies – to participate in the competitive wholesale electricity market, providing generation services, bringing significant grid reliability and environmental benefits to Texas.

“This bill is a good step forward and will help integrate storage into the Texas energy market,” said Suzi McClellan, director of the Texas Energy Storage Alliance and former Texas State Public Counsel.

Specifically, the law (Senate Bill 943 by Carona) clarifies the right of storage resources to interconnect to the grid, and to sell energy or ancillary services to the wholesale competitive market (ERCOT). 

“This policy will encourage the development of storage projects to enhance the efficiency of the state power grid,” said Chris Shelton, president of AES Energy Storage, a TESA member. “Energy storage projects are able to provide a fast, flexible and emissions-free solution to grid operator requests for power – leveling the variability of generation and demand on the grid, reducing operating costs and providing for the integration of renewable sources.”

Energy storage can enhance the reliability of the electric grid by regulating frequency or by storing excess energy during periods of low demand and releasing it when demand is high.  These functions will also allow more sources of energy, such as wind, solar, and nuclear to be reliably integrated onto the grid. 

“Energy storage is an emerging technology that has the potential to bring significant benefits to Texas” said McClellan.  “It is a key part of the future electricity system.”

“The passage of this bill will contribute to the State’s continued leadership in clean energy,” commented Carlos Coe, CEO of Xtreme Power, a recipient of state Emerging Technology Funds, and an Austin-based storage system manufacturer with over 100 employees in central Texas.  Xtreme Power will provide a 36 MW Dynamic Power Resource, the largest battery energy storage system integrated with a wind farm in the world, at the 153 MW Duke Energy Notrees project in our home State of Texas.