The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission has voted unanimously to amend the state’s 2017 integrated resource planning (IRP) rules to include energy storage.
The amendment creates a new listing for storage, separating it from demand response because storage resources are “at times demand response resources and at times supply side resources.”
The PRC rejected a suggestion that an energy storage target be put in place because there is not an adequate record on which to base a benchmark or target.
The rules for New Mexico’s IRP only state that investor-owned electric and gas utilities’ resource planning processes have to evaluate all feasible “supply side” and “demand side” resources on a “comparable and consistent basis.” The rules were written before energy storage was a commercially feasible alternative to supply-side and demand-side resources.
In the amendment, PRC staff noted that energy storage’s benefits can occur at any stage, from generation of electricity to transmission and distribution.
Staff suggested it would be helpful to the policy development to require utilities to produce a cost/benefit analysis of energy storage options considered, and why they were rejected.
PNM is the only utility in New Mexico with energy storage capability at present. PNM’s Prosperity Energy Storage project includes a 500 kV solar PV facility with a 250kW, 1 MWh energy storage system.
“All of the participants in this rulemaking case, including our three investor-owned utilities, supported this amendment to the IRP rule, a consensus reflecting that energy storage should be considered as a resource in New Mexico’s utilities’ long-term planning,” Commission Vice Chair Cynthia Hall said in a statement.