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Energy Storage

The Brattle Group’s experts have a deep understanding of the market and regulatory fundamentals that affect existing energy storage resources and will drive future energy storage developments.

Energy storage will be transformative to the power industry. Thus, the policies and market features that drive new opportunities for storage will be examined over the next few years.  Utilities, investors, technology firms, project developers, system operators, and regulators rely on our team of experts to tackle their most challenging storage issues. Our client engagements draw on our depth of storage knowledge, our storage modeling tools, and our understanding of markets and regulation. We are currently evaluating distributed and utility-scale battery, thermal, compressed air, and hydro storage resources.

Our energy storage modeling platform, bSTORE, is built specifically to evaluate the economics and operations of energy storage facilities. We have utilized bSTORE on behalf of project developers, investors, and utilities for asset valuation, assessing customer benefits, and conducting market impact analyses. We use bSTORE to provide clients with insights about their projects while simulating real-world complexities, such as important regulatory requirements, technical capabilities, market structure, multiple wholesale and retail value streams, and day-ahead and real-time energy and ancillary services markets with imperfect foresight.

Areas of Expertise


Below is a list of representative engagements for our Energy Storage practice.

Valuation of solar+storage facility

For the developer of a utility-scale solar+storage facility, Brattle provided a third-party validation of facility revenues to support the client’s due diligence efforts. We utilized bSTORE to evaluate wholesale energy market revenues, accounting for the ability of storage to store excess solar generation that otherwise would have been “clipped” by the undersized inverter and strategically discharge the stored energy into the wholesale market to maximize revenues. We estimated revenues through 2040 under a variety of future scenarios, accounting for real-world complications, such as the effect of imperfect foresight when operating the facility in day-ahead and real-time wholesale power markets.

The "stacked value" of battery storage in California

For Eos, a battery storage developer, Brattle consultants assessed the value of the company’s technology in the California market. We estimated the multiple values of storage in providing wholesale market services (energy, regulation, and spinning reserves) and deferring generation, transmission, and distribution capacity investments.  We developed an optimal operational strategy to capture the multiple value streams to increase the overall “stacked value,” accounting for realistic factors such as imperfect foresight of wholesale electricity market conditions and prices.  The Brattle project team identified potential enhancements to retail rate and wholesale market design to facilitate storage development and maximize societal value.

Grid-integrated distributed storage in Texas

For Oncor, Brattle experts evaluated the economics of grid integrated distributed electricity storage in Texas.  Our analysis found that distribution-level storage could provide substantial net benefits to the state, and up to 5,000 MW of grid-integrated, distributed electricity storage would be cost effective from an ERCOT system-wide perspective.  In addition, total customer benefits would significantly exceed costs.  We found that enabling cost-effective investments in electricity storage will require modification to the existing regulatory framework to allow investors capture both the wholesale market, T&D system, and customer outage avoidance values associated with distribution-level storage devices.

Battery storage in PJM's real-time energy and ancillary services markets

For a potential investor in battery storage technology, Brattle experts analyzed PJM’s real-time market participation rules for storage.  We developed a real-time energy and ancillary service bidding strategy that the asset owner could employ to nearly optimize storage operations, given expectations for prices and battery operations and constraints looking forward several hours. Our analysis estimates the net revenues that storage devices of various efficiencies and durations could earn by employing optimal bidding strategies.  We also identified changes in PJM’s real-time bid/offer rules that PJM would have to implement to fully enable optimal battery utilization from a system-wide perspective.  Finally, we estimated the revenues that storage devices of different configurations could earn in PJM’s capacity market, assessed the risk of performance penalties, and identified capacity market design modification that would be necessary to access the capacity value of storage resources.

Controllable water heaters as storage resources

For the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Peak Load Management Alliance, Brattle experts evaluated the economic benefits of controllable electric hot water heaters and heat pump water heaters in participating in the wholesale power markets.  We evaluated a range of water heater control strategies, including peak shave, energy arbitrage, and fast-response to provide frequency regulation.  Our analysis quantified the system benefits, potential revenues, and carbon emission effects in PJM and MISO under both existing and projected future market conditions.

Renewable+storage integration for island power system

Brattle experts analyzed options to integrate renewable (wind, solar, and biogas) resources to provide 50% of the island’s electricity needs. The study included development of different ancillary service requirements, detailed operational simulations accounting for renewables and load forecast uncertainty and variability, generator maintenance and forced outages, economic cost, and benefit evaluations of renewable+storage integration. Several storage technologies were analyzed to improve renewable integration, including various capacity, energy density, different charging and discharging options, installation options, and ownership models. Brattle experts are currently analyzing options to avoid fuel-oil use for all energy and water production.

Behind-the-meter storage in California

Brattle supported an investment fund’s due diligence effort for evaluate possible investments in distributed, behind-the-meter storage devices. We analyzed the overall value proposition, cash flows, business risks, and operating characteristics of two alternative business models involving bilateral contracts with commercial retail customers and the local distribution utility with simultaneous participation in the wholesale markets for energy, ancillary services, demand response, and local resource adequacy.

Battery storage market assessment

In late 2017, Brattle conducted an assessment of market opportunities for a multi-national company that is considering entering the North American energy storage market.  The study involved a review of market conditions, rules, and policies for the three storage market segments (wholesale, T&D, and retail) and 15 geographic regions in North America. For each region, Brattle developed a detailed presentation of the regional markets, its players, ongoing and expected policy changes and impacts, incentives, and various other storage related topics. We then summarized 22 important metrics (as defined with the client) such as market size, price levels and volatility, retail rate structure and policies (i.e., net metering), and storage market penetration levels and value estimates. Based on these metrics, Brattle further helped develop short- and long-term strategies.

Getting to 50 GW? The Role of FERC Order 841, RTOs, States, and Utilities in Unlocking Storage's Potential
February 22, 2018
Published by The Brattle Group, Inc.

The study examines the current state and potential future growth of the U.S. market for electricity storage, and finds that storage market potential could grow to 50,000 MW over the next decade if storage costs continue to decline and state regulatory policies build on the recently-issued FERC Order 841 to remove barriers that prevent storage resources from realizing multiple value streams.

Battery Storage Development: Regulatory and Market Environments
January 18, 2018
Presented to the Philadelphia Area Municipal Analyst Society
U.S. Federal and State Regulations: Opportunities and Challenges for Electricity Storage
November 02, 2017
Presented at BIT Congress, Inc.'s 7th World Congress of Smart Energy
Stacked Benefits: Comprehensively Valuing Battery Storage in California
September 12, 2017
Ryan Hledik, Roger Lueken, Colin McIntyre, and Heidi Bishop
Prepared for Eos Energy Storage

The report finds that operating batteries to simultaneously capture benefits from multiple value streams (i.e., “stacked benefits”) could unlock significantly more value than using batteries to target only individual applications.

The Hidden Battery: Opportunities in Electric Water Heating
February 10, 2016
Prepared for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and the Peak Load Management Alliance (PLMA)
Hidden Values, Missing Markets, and Electricity Policy: The Experience with Storage and Transmission
June 25, 2015
Presented at the Harvard Electricity Policy Group 79th Plenary Session, Washington, DC
Impacts of Distributed Storage on Electricity Markets, Utility Operations, and Customers
May 01, 2015
Presented at the 2015 MIT Energy Initiative Associate Member Symposium
The Value of Distributed Electricity Storage in Texas - Proposed Policy for Enabling Grid-Integrated Storage Investments (Full Technical Report)
March 2015
Ioanna Karkatsouli, James Mashal, Lauren Regan, Judy Chang, Matthew Davis, Johannes P. Pfeifenberger, and Kathleen Spees
Prepared for Oncor
The Value of Distributed Electricity Storage in Texas: Proposed Policy for Enabling Grid-Integrated Storage Investments
November 10, 2014
Prepared for Oncor
News & Knowledge
February 22, 2018
Brattle Study: FERC Order Sets Course for 50,000 MW U.S. Storage Market

Brattle economists released a study examining the current state and potential future growth of the U.S. market for electricity storage.

November 02, 2017
Romkaew Broehm to Present at BIT's World Congress of Smart Energy

Brattle Principal Romkaew Broehm will present at BIT Congress, Inc.’s World Congress of Smart Energy, taking place November 2-4, 2017 in Wuxi, China.

September 12, 2017
Capturing Multiple Benefits of Batteries Could Add Significant Value to California Energy Storage, According to Brattle Economists

A report released today by Brattle economists finds that operating batteries to simultaneously capture benefits from multiple value streams (i.e., “stacked benefits”) could unlock significantly more value than using batteries to target only individual applications.

April 18, 2016
Roger Lueken to Present on Opportunities in Electric Water Heating for Energy Storage at PLMA's Spring Conference

Brattle Associate Roger Lueken will present at the Peak Load Management Alliance’s (PLMA) 17th Spring Conference, taking place April 19-20, 2016 in San Francisco, CA.

February 10, 2016
Report by Brattle Economists Finds Electric Water Heaters Can Provide Economic and Environmental Benefits

A new report by economists at The Brattle Group reveals that advanced strategies of using electric water heating to provide ancillary services, store thermal energy on a daily basis, or adopt heat pumps can provide significant value to the electric power grid.

October 05, 2015
Brattle Associate Roger Lueken Co-authors Report on Grid Energy Storage in Energy Policy

A report by Brattle associate Roger Lueken on slow growth in energy storage was recently published in Energy Policy. The paper, “Is inexpensive natural gas hindering the grid energy storage industry?” was co-authored by Eric Hittinger of Rochester Institute of Technology.

June 11, 2015
Judy Chang Moderates Panel for University of Pennsylvania Accelerating Energy Storage Conference

Brattle principal Judy Chang recently moderated a panel on energy storage at the University of Pennsylvania conference, “Accelerating Energy Storage: Policies for Facilitating Investment and Deployment,” which took place on June 11, 2015 in Philadelphia, PA.