Colorado Coal Plant Valuation Study

The Colorado Coal Plant Valuation Study provides new information on Colorado’s coal-fired power plants. The analysis includes the cost of replacing the 10 existing coal plants slated for retirement after 2025 with wind or solar resources. The analysis also examines the social cost of carbon of Colorado’s coal portfolio and the impact of using securitization, a financial tool to retire coal plants without burdening ratepayers, for retiring Xcel’s coal fleet, per provisions in SB19-236, the Sunset Public Utilities Commission Act.

Using publicly available data and applying conservative assumptions, Strategen found the following:

  • Wind resources are cheaper than coal for all 10 Colorado coal units analyzed, including the newest coal plants in the state, Xcel’s Comanche and Pawnee plants. Solar resources are cheaper than all of Colorado’s coal fleet except for Pawnee and Rawhide. 

  • $1.7 billion is the potential savings if all 10 coal units are replaced with wind.

  • $1.4 billion is the potential savings if all 10 coal units are replaced with solar.

Global Grid Transformation Report | ESNA 2018 | An IHS Markit Collaboration | Mexico, Germany, Australia

This is a report from the Global Grid Transformation (GGT) conference track at the 6th annual Energy Storage North America (ESNA), which took place in November 2018 in Pasadena, California. The event brought together key stakeholders from Australia, Europe, and the Americas to exchange ideas, share success stories, and brainstorm on key challenges, with a focus on promoting a low-emission, resilient, and affordable power grid. IHS Markit worked together with Strategen consultants and ESNA to prepare this white paper, providing a recap of the most important points faced today by the energy storage industry. This report dissects how how various markets are developing and how stakeholders can identify and target growth opportunities for energy storage.

Global Grid Transformation Report | ESNA 2017: Mexico, Australia, China

This report, “Global Grid Transformation: Spearheading the Role of Energy Storage in the Global Transformation to a Cleaner, More Resilient and Efficient Grid” is from the first-ever facilitated conference track among private and public-sector leaders from Mexico, Australia and China at the Energy Storage North America 2017 Conference and Expo. The Global Grid Transformation Report provides a recap of the current situation facing each country, the key questions each region is trying to address, and the next steps towards achieving a cleaner, more efficient, and more resilient grid in their respective markets.

A Framework for Utility Procurement of Energy Storage: Lessons Learned from Leading Utilities

Global Energy Storage Alliance (GESA)

This whitepaper, prepared by Strategen Consulting for the Global Energy Storage Alliance, with generous funding support by the Wells Fargo Foundation. provides clear and practical guidance on how electric utilities can procure energy storage resources to perform as electric resources used to balance supply and demand on the electric grid. It includes an introduction to energy storage technologies and applications, example utility procurements and storage pilots, as well as links to helpful resources.

Energy storage solutions, which can consume, store, and then discharge electricity, are a growing part of the electric generation fleet around the United States. This is particularly true in California where storage policies and stakeholder interest have created a relatively more developed energy storage market. Since energy storage is a resource class that can act as generation and load while being interconnected in different configurations on the grid, establishing consistent and clear energy storage procurement processes can be challenging. This is especially true for procurement processes in which storage competes against ‘traditional’ generation resources to solve an electric system need.

To address these energy storage procurement challenges (which in turn will help storage play a growing role in electric grids), “A Framework for Utility Procurement of Energy Storage” provides insightful advice and deep research, offering readers actionable guidance on how to structure and execute a storage solicitation utilizing the “Energy Storage Procurement Framework”.

 

About Strategen Consulting

Strategen Consulting provides insight to global corporations, utilities, and public sector leaders, helping them develop impactful and sustainable clean energy strategies. www.strategen.com

About the Global Energy Storage Alliance

The Global Energy Storage Alliance (GESA) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 2014 whose mission is to advance education, collaboration, knowledge and proven frameworks about the benefits of energy storage and how it can be used to achieve a more efficient, cleaner, reliable, affordable and secure electric power system globally. GESA was jointly founded by the California Energy Storage Alliance (CESA), the German Energy Storage Association (BVES), the China Energy Storage Alliance (CNESA), the India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA), the US Energy Storage Association (ESA), and the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE). www.globalesa.org

Report Finds Energy Storage as the Clean, Reliable Path Forward for NYC’s Grid

This report shows that New Yorkers stand to benefit significantly from the deployment of energy storage. Storage appears to be the key ingredient for helping the city transition away from old, polluting fossil fuel power plants and towards a cleaner, more resilient power system. Energy storage could effectively put New York City on a path to transition away from an aging electric generation fleet to a cleaner grid and achieve the state’s clean energy goals, according to the report, “New York City’s Aging Power Plants: Risks, Replacement Options and the Role of Energy Storage”, released by the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST), in partnership with Strategen Consulting. The report shows that deploying battery energy storage, in lieu of the city’s oldest fossil-fueled electric generating units, could reduce ozone-forming pollution by more than 60 % and greenhouse gas emissions by more than 75% from those units while cost effectively maintaining grid reliability.

“As the state moves forward to meet its clean energy goals of 50 percent renewable energy by 2030 and an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, there are increasing questions about how we can best ensure the reliability of the electricity grid while reducing our reliance on fossil-fuel generation. This study illustrates that replacing these older peaking plants with energy storage presents a cost-effective strategy for reducing harmful air emissions, protecting public health and maintaining grid reliability,” said Dr. William Acker, Executive Director of NY-BEST.

Within the next five years, 2,860 MW of old steam and combustion turbines – 30% of NYC’s current fleet - will be past retirement age, according to Strategen analysis of the New York ISO Gold Book report. There are not enough new projects currently in the advanced stage of development that will be needed to meet the potential shortfall as early as 2021 if these older plants are decommissioned, leaving nearly all of the proposed new projects reliant on fossil energy. This, in turn, would detract from the state’s climate goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050 and achieving the Clean Energy Standard requiring 50 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable energy sources by 2030.

“Many older power plants in New York City don't have modern pollution controls and contribute significantly to the ozone pollution. Our analysis shows that deploying just four hours of energy storage at or near the highest nitrogen-oxide emitting combustion turbine plants may be sufficient to reduce emissions at these plants by up to 66%,” said Ed Burgess, Senior Manager at Strategen Consulting and report author. “Energy storage is one of the few options available for replacing these plants in a short period of time, without increasing reliance on fossil fuels.”

The city’s high levels of ozone pollution are to blame for more than 400 premature deaths, 850 hospitalizations for asthma and 4,500 emergency department visits for asthma each year, according to data by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The current strategies to control NOx emissions from these old peaking plants may be ineffective, according to recent report by the New York ISO. The Strategen report notes that the estimated economic impact from these emissions is more than $62 million annually.

"Over 50% of New York City’s electricity related greenhouse gas emissions likely resulted from fossil power plants located in the city,” states the Strategen report. “For New York to achieve its climate goals, it will need to increase utilization of renewable energy in place of fossil fuels."

“This report shows that New Yorkers stand to benefit significantly from the deployment of energy storage. Storage appears to be the key ingredient for helping the city transition away from old, polluting fossil fuel power plants and towards a cleaner, more resilient power system," stated Lon Huber, Senior Director at Strategen Consulting.

Energy storage is also an economically viable choice. The Strategen report finds that the city’s electricity customers are spending more than $268 million annually to support these older plants that run for just a few hours each year. A five percent set-aside of this amount could attract investment in more than 450 MW of new energy storage resources over the next five years with very little impact (<1%) in total cost to customers.