Update From The Field June 2017:
Utility scale, grid connected PV plus storage break prices records


Make the most of our monthly analysis concerning key data and trends in the energy storage industry worldwide.


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Executive Summary

This month’s Update From the Field reports several regulatory evolutions in the U.S.A. concerning recent senate bills passed in the southwest of the country in efforts to increase storage incentives. In addition to this, New York’s uptake of strategically placed storage as well as the response of PJM (the East Coast’s system operator) to the evolution in the usage of batteries for services to the grid are discussed.

Jamaica issued a call for tender concerning flywheels and batteries in order to ensure system stability – allowing further integration of renewable energies for the energy transition. In Australia, electricity consumers wait eagerly to see what the government decides for energy storage incentives in response to the Finkel report – Australian’s Chief Scientist’s recommendations concerning energy transition and security.

Finally, this month Arizona’s utility Tuscon Electric Power communicated their purchase price agreement (PPA) of only 45 USD/MWh dispatched from their 100 MWp PV array coupled with energy storage. We investigate how this record breaking low PPA is possible in our Focus of the Month in this June edition of Update From the Field.


Table of Contents
Executive Summary 2
Table of figures 4
New regulations and initiatives discussed this month 5
Americas 5
New York Public Utility approves Con Edison’s demand for behind-the-meter battery injection into the grid 5
Nevada passes several clean energy bills for energy storage targets 6
California passes SB700 to create more energy storage incentives alongside the SGIP 7
PJM Interconnection responds to criticisms concerning the recent changes in regards to energy neutrality 7
Europe 9
New subsidy for PV plus storage in Brandenburg through RENplus program 9
Asia / Oceania 9
South Australian energy security may exclude battery storage, will the Finkel Report come to the rescue? 9
Projects updates and announcements 15
Overview of the 2017 market for utility-scale projects: tenders in the making 15
Projects commissioned this month 16
Projects announced this month 17
Focus of the month – Utility scale, grid connected PV plus storage break prices records 18
Introduction 18
The TEP project combines all the necessary factors to make a low cost solar plus storage project 18
Economies of scale and solar irradiation are at play 19
The Investment Tax Credit (ITC): a 30 % tax rebate makes all the difference 20
PV plus storage globally: energy costs are indeed diminishing, but the market remains localized to a few regions 21
Geographic distribution of PV plus storage projects: only a handful of hotspots can be observed 21
PV plus storage costs are diminishing, but the TEP project remains an exception 23
Will PV plus storage become the new standard for the implementation of energy storage? Probably not 25
Albeit convenient, PV plus storage is not necessarily optimal for the grid operators 25
PV plus storage PPAs are not optimal, but that does not mean the end of PV and storage (and certainly not the end of generation + storage) 25

Table of figures

Figure 1: RegA and RegD signals available on PJM for frequency regulation 8
Figure 2. Timeline recommendations from the Finkel report for Australia’s future energy market 11
Figure 3. Energy storage technologies included in the Finkel Report (adapted from DOE) 13
Figure 4: Australian Gas and Lighting Energy (AGL)’s suggested prices of new generation 14
Figure 5. Projects announced and commissioned in 2017 16
Figure 6 Comparison of energy costs in the United States by of generation source 18
Figure 7. Estimated cost breakdown of the Tuscan Electric Power solar plus storage project 20
Figure 8. Projected revenues for PV plus storage projects 24