Dispatchable Renewables and Energy Storage Report
In November 2017 the Government of Alberta tasked the AESO to assess if dispatchable renewables and energy storage are needed to continue to deliver a reliable electricity system as the province transitions towards 30 per cent renewables by 2030, and if they are needed, how they should be procured.
After a thorough assessment, in-depth technical analysis and broad stakeholder engagement, AESO provided a report to the government on May 31, 2018. The Government of Alberta has reviewed and endorsed the analysis, conclusions and recommendations provided in the Dispatchable Renewables and Energy Storage Report (see 'Links' below).
The report found that "the current approach of procuring flexibility and ramping capability through the procurement of electricity in the energy market, and regulating reserves in the ancillary services market, is forecast to provide sufficient flexibility to meet the forecast increase in variability and ramping to 2030" and, as such, that there was no need to procure any additional such capacity via dispatchable renewables.
On energy storage in particular, the AESO modelled two different types: lithium ion batteries and pumped hydro storage. The report found that short-term low energy storage via batteries may be cost-effective by participating in the ancillary services market, but that long-term high-energy storage liked pumped hydro is not competitive as prices are insufficiently volatile.