In response to state legislation enacted last year, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) is seeking comments concerning the state of and prognosis for energy storage development within the State of New Jersey. New Jersey enacted the Clean Energy Act on May 23, 2018. Among other things, the act requires the BPU, in consultation with the regional grid operator, PJM Interconnection, LLC, and other stakeholders, to conduct an energy storage analysis and submit a written report on energy storage to the governor and legislature by May 23, 2019.
Energy storage is likely to be a crucial element of New Jersey’s strategic energy plan as the state implements the act’s mandate that 50% of electricity sold in New Jersey come from renewable sources by 2030. Energy storage is also expected to be a key component of fully utilizing the state’s potential for offshore wind development. New Jersey is currently preparing a new Energy Master Plan, a draft of which is scheduled to be released for public feedback in the coming months.
The BPU engaged Rutgers University to assist in drafting the energy storage analysis report. On March 6, the BPU issued a request for comments on nine legislatively prescribed questions that the report must consider, and four additional storage-related questions on which the BPU is seeking stakeholder feedback. Comments must be submitted to the BPU on or before March 20, 2019.
The BPU indicated that once a draft report is completed, it will convene a formal stakeholder meeting to solicit further comments before the final report is submitted to the governor.
Both the act and the BPU’s request for comments follow a number of other state-mandated actions to pursue or consider the impact of energy storage deployments. For example, North Carolina commissioned a similar study and report in 2018, which was undertaken for the purpose of exploring the impact of energy storage within the state and recommending policy initiatives or legislative actions that could encourage preparation for new storage resource development. Further, as has been widely reported, the New York Public Service Commission recently issued an order establishing a mandatory 3 GW energy storage goal by 2030, and directing New York investor-owned utilities to engage in a competitive procurement for energy storage this year. In New Jersey, the act requires that within six months of completion of the report, the BPU initiate a proceeding to establish a process and mechanism for realizing 600 MW of energy storage by 2021 and 2 GW of energy storage by 2030.