By Michael Gergen, David Pettit and Christopher Randall

The CPUC’s market-shaping decision provides guidance regarding the “stacking” of multiple electricity system services.

A new decision from the Public Utilities Commission of the State of California (CPUC) has set the stage for improved economic viability for California’s energy storage industry. The January 17 decision — Decision 18-01-003 in Rulemaking 15-03-011 (the Decision) — establishes a set of rules to guide utilities on how to “promote the ability of storage resources to realize their full economic value when they are capable of providing multiple [or ‘stacked’] benefits and services to the electricity system.”

To advance this objective, the CPUC has adopted 11 stacking rules to govern the evaluation of multiple-use energy storage applications, as well as associated definitions of services and service “domains.” The agency also established a working group to develop certain issues further and directed the CPUC’s Energy Division to prepare a report in 2018 on the state of the energy storage industry.

By Eli Hopson and David Pettit

The nation’s coal fleet is getting older and will become subject to a looming suite of regulatory requirements issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), such as the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (a/k/a “Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology” or Utility MACT) and the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR). Given these EPA rules and the entry of more efficient, lower-cost generation and demand response resource competitors, many coal plants are expected