Energy storage enhances the efficiency and reliability of the electrical grid, and it provides a fantastic way to maximize the benefits of solar energy. This is especially true for large energy consumers, such as Commercial and Industrial customers. However, incentives in Minnesota vary by service territory and this results in some customers missing out on state programs and being over-billed. MnSEIA is working to make sure storage incentives are available to all in the state and customers are being adequately rewarded for the benefits they bring to the grid.
Much like renewable generation in recent decades, the price of energy storage has decreased significantly. Technological advancements have made energy storage resources available for a wide range of electrical customers, from small residential customers to large commercial and industrial ones. Energy storage can help larger customers reduce their peak demand charges and maximize the benefits of their renewable energy systems.
Minnesota has already created incentives and specific demand usage rate programs for customers that add energy storage. However, these programs can only be found under Xcel’s service territory, leaving much of the state without access to these programs. This is a double-edged sword that not only stunts the growth of energy storage, but it also means that customers who’ve already added energy storage are being over-billed and having their demand charges unequally applied.
MnSEIA is working to extend these programs to Ottertail and Minnesota Power’s service territories. Our goal is to require utilities to work out a plan with the Public Utilities Commission for their service territory that properly aligns incentives and ensures that customers are not being overcharged.