Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection releases Energy Storage Assessment

Source: Strategen, Prepared for the PA Department of Environmental Protection

On April 14, 2021, the Energy Programs Office at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection released the Pennsylvania Energy Storage Assessment: Status, Barriers, and Opportunities. The report assesses the role that energy storage can play in developing a cleaner, more resilient electric grid, and identifies policies, programs, and incentives that the state can pursue to advance the deployment of energy storage technologies.

“This is the first key step to identifying strategies to overcome any barriers we might have to getting the full value of energy storage,” said David Althoff Jr., Director of the Energy Programs Office. “We recognize that our need for storage is expanding … as part of our larger market opportunity for renewables in our state and states around us.” The Pennsylvania Energy Storage Assessment was developed using U.S. State Energy Program funds.

This report builds on previous work from the Energy Programs Office, after developing Pennsylvania’s Solar Future plan in 2018. This plan recommended increasing in-state solar production from about a current ~700 megawatts to 11 gigawatts by 2030. To support this goal, in March 2021, Governor Wolf announced the construction of seven large-scale solar developments around the state which will power state facilities and buildings.

The Energy Storage Assessment recommends pairing large-scale solar developments with battery storage, as a way to increase the state’s renewable energy generation while maintaining grid reliability. The report indicates that if only 25 percent of the 11 gigawatts solar target is paired with energy storage, Pennsylvania energy customers could save $273 million annually in wholesale energy costs and avoided public health and environmental impacts from a reduction of 2.5 million metric tons of carbon emissions a year.