Outcome of utility rate cases could mean $20 million in battery storage projects for Ohio
In April 2018, Bricker & Eckler published an overview of Ohio’s current energy storage landscape, which discussed recent Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) decisions with battery storage pilots, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Order 841, microgrid and distributed storage projects in Ohio, and PUCO’s grid modernization effort, “PowerForward.”
Since that article, even more battery storage systems may be coming to Ohio if two recently filed settlement proposals in utility rate cases are approved by the PUCO.
The filed settlement proposal in the Duke Energy Ohio rate case would allow the utility to invest up to $20 million in battery storage projects. The projects must be “for the purpose of deferring circuit investments or addressing distribution reliability issues.”
In Dayton Power & Light’s (DP&L) rate case, the proposed settlement creates a process under which DP&L may file an application with the PUCO for battery storage projects related to distribution service. Specifically, “DP&L may install battery storage projects for the purpose of deferring distribution circuit investments or addressing distribution reliability issues,” with the costs to be collected through the Distribution Investment Rider (DIR). The DIR is a rider permitting DP&L to make incremental distribution infrastructure investments through 2023. Under the proposed settlement, DP&L is required to meet with interested parties prior to filing an application for battery storage projects.
Hearings for both cases are scheduled for this summer.