Steffes is a charter member of the Community Storage Initiative, a national effort to solve the challenge of energy storage with technologies and resources that are already available.
For decades the electricity industry has been researching energy storage technologies, such as utility-scale batteries, that can stockpile electricity for later use. As the industry develops more renewable energy resources, which are intermittent, the need for energy storage is becoming more pressing.
Community storage refers to utility-sponsored programs that coordinate electric storage resources available throughout the community, such as grid-interactive water and space heaters, thermal cold storage and electric vehicles. Many utilities already offer consumers incentives to lower their usage during times of high demand; community storage enhances and builds on those programs.
Community storage enables consumers and utilities to share the system-wide benefits of energy storage – environmental benefits, lower costs and grid optimization – in communities large and small across the country. Such programs maximize the value of distributed energy resources, many of which are already available to participate in energy storage programs through simple retrofits and program design.
“The vision for the utility of the future is emerging,” said CEO Paul Steffes. “By looking at resources available now and using them in a new way, we can find affordable solutions to some of our biggest challenges.” The Initiative’s supporters include a wide array of energy, environmental and business interests.
The Initiative members are already implementing community storage programs, and will be working together to develop and enhance those programs to fit changing energy needs.
For general information about the initiative click here to read the “Community Storage Gains Key Support from Electric Trade Associations, Environmental Advocates, Utilities and Manufacturers”.