POWER Quotes Lund and Echols on the Need for a Legal Framework to Regulate Use of Battery Storage

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Energy attorney and chair of Stoel Rives’ energy storage subgroup Morten Lund and chemical patent attorney Kelly Echols were quoted in POWER magazine in an article titled “Energy at a Cellular Level: Battery Storage Shows Plenty of Power,” published March 1, 2019. The article discusses how as rapid advances are made in battery storage, the need grows for a robust legal framework to ensure that safety standards keep pace.

The growth in the number of small-scale battery storage installations on homes and businesses is proving disruptive to utilities’ rate design and traditional business model, but larger-scale installations present them with opportunities. As storage becomes available that is compatible with the grid, utilities are moving to procure it to address immediate uses, such as improving power delivery reliability, as well as to meet long-term regulatory requirements.

However, regulatory structures haven’t kept pace with technological advances in battery storage, according to Lund. “There still isn’t a good legal framework for battery storage anywhere,” he said. “We don’t have a legal framework in which to reliably operate. There still isn’t a market anywhere in the world that is big and permanent, not propped up on precarious financial and regulatory stilts.”

The attorneys note that many of the recent advances in storage technology are in “control” systems, which give power generators the ability to utilize their excess power more effectively, balance grid loads and control distributed energy resources. “Most of the innovation follows where the investment dollars are coming from, and [innovation] has been on the control side,” Echols said.

Key Contributors

Kelly A. Echols
Morten A. Lund
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