According to Scientific-American, “The way the world gets its electricity is undergoing a rapid transition, driven by both the increased urgency of decarbonizing energy systems and the plummeting costs of wind and solar technology. In the past decade electricity generated by renewables in the U.S. has doubled, primarily from wind and solar installations, according to the Energy Information Administration. In January 2019 the EIA forecast that wind, solar and other non-hydroelectric renewables would be the fastest-growing slice of the electricity portfolio for the next two years.


“But the intermittent nature of those sources means that electric utilities need a way to keep energy in their back pocket for when the sun is not shining, and the winds are calm. That need is increasing interest in energy-storage technology—in particular, lithium-ion batteries, which are finally poised to be more than just a bit player in the grid.”


PV Magazine, “municipal utilities and electric cooperatives in the state of Texas will have legal confirmation on their right to own energy storage facilities that sell energy or ancillary services, while not having to register as an energy generator. Current policy in the state, defines energy storage as a generation asset, which requires owners to register as power generators.


“The act, 86(R) SB 1012, adds the below language to the above Sec.35.152: d) Subsection (b) does not require a municipally owned utility or an electric cooperative that owns or operates electric energy storage equipment or facilities described by Subsection (a) to register as a power generation company under Section 39.351(a).


“In Texas’ ERCOT region (which covers 90% of the electricity demand in the state), the investor-owned companies that own the power lines aren’t allowed to own generation assets, and electricity users can contract directly with generators. However, per Texas expert Joshua Rhodes, municipality owned electric utilities and energy cooperatives are allowed to own generation assets if they choose to, and some in fact do. Which means this legislation merely reminds, and codifies what was already known.


“Very recently, the first co-op owned energy storage project was begun, with Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) signing a deal with Aggreko for a 2.25 MW/4.5 MWh battery. The system will provide grid services, as well time-shifting solar from a nearby facility.”