D.C. Court of Appeals Upholding of FERC Order Opens the Door for U.S. Battery Storage
Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit upheld a major federal rule (FERC Order 841) – a ruling that could open the door for energy storage to be more broadly incorporated into the energy grid in the USA and readily available within our everyday lives. FERC Order 841 has been a highly contested rule, with renewable energy companies and select states arguing in favor while utilities and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) were opposed. This ruling breaks down existing market barriers, set forth by regional transmission organizations and independent grid operators which have made the adoption of independent energy storage on the wholesale market extremely difficult, and which have limited our ability for resiliency and diverse competition. Ultimately, it will put battery storage technologies and gas/fossil-fueled power plants on a level playing field. For consumers, this means that energy storage could become even more affordable and available within the coming years due to an expected uptick in energy storage, alternative energy integration into the grid, and the introduction of cost-competitive pricing. Furthermore, this access helps regional grid operators increase their own resiliency, particularly in areas where grid disruptions are common due to severe climate conditions including hurricanes, tornados and extreme heat – a key concern in light of the growing severity of storms over the past decade. Energy storage manufacturers have reason to celebrate as well, as experts have noted this ruling could lead to upwards of 50 gigawatts of new energy storage development. However, to stay competitive in this new environment and create batteries that are longer lasting with a higher capacity, they are now looking at how to modernize and enhance their energy storage designs. Coretec helps energy storage manufacturers stay competitive, not just with one another but also against fossil fuel plants, by focusing on the anodes of lithium ion batteries. Now that the major regulatory hurdles have been lifted, innovation will drive adoption, as the intermittent nature of renewable energy has made it challenging to manage in the past. With our cyclohexasilane (CHS) solution, it’s possible to achieve what has previously been seen as impossible, a reduction in degradation combined with an increase in battery capacity. CHS, when used in the anode, is giving these batteries a longer lifespan with the ability to handle more charge/discharge cycles, a necessity with intermittent solar and wind resources. FERC Order 841 is a great step for reducing energy costs, improving resiliency and introducing more clean resources into the grid for a sustainable future. But with regulatory progress, we need to focus on innovation to make wide-scale adoption of alternative energy and energy storage a standard. Battery manufacturers need new material advancements, like CHS, to compete equally with the antiquated big, centralized fossil fuel plant approach, and deliver a modernized grid sourcing higher percentages of renewable energy at lower cost.