Community Storage Initiative (CSI) FAQs

What is 'Community Storage'?

'Community Storage', as a market development concept, originated from a conversation involving Gary Connett – Great River Energy (GRE), Steven Koep – Vaughn Thermal Corp. (Co-Chairs of the PLMA GIWH Interest Group), Keith Dennis – NRECA and Robin Roy – NRDC, regarding the mutual efforts that had brought The Brattle Group project (The Hidden Battery) to fruition. Gary commented that GRE had announced the successful completion of a Community Solar Demonstration Program with installations at its Maple Grove, MN headquarters and at each of its 28 electric cooperative owner-members. At the same time, utility trade press was positioning battery storage, in all of its shapes and sizes, as the storage technology of choice for electric utilities and electricity end-users, as well as the solution to the nation's renewable integration challenges. The discussion turned to residential battery systems as one of a number of emerging behind-the-meter storage (BTMS) technologies and 'Community Storage' as a viable demand response program strategy for GRE and other electric utilities emerged as the result.

'Community Storage' leverages the growing installed base of grid-interactive BTMS technologies (GIWH, Electric Thermal Storage – Heating & Cooling, EVs/Charging Stations, Res/Cmml Battery Systems) that can be aggregated and controlled in support of the Smart Grid, while storing/integrating renewable energy and changing the carbon footprint of the BTMS technology and the home or business. In recognition of the growing market acceptance of Community Solar, we agreed that 'Community Storage' might be the best way to introduce active management of distributed energy storage resources to industry stakeholders and the electricity-using 'community'.

What is 'The Community Storage Initiative'?

The Community Storage Initiative is a participative market development effort sponsored and launched by NRECA, NRDC and PLMA. The founding supporters are motivated to build the foundation of a thriving market for grid-interactive BTMS technologies and programs that will engage electric utilities, technology providers and their mutual customers.

What are the Guiding Principles of The Community Storage Initiative?

The Community Storage Initiative is moving forward from a foundation of guiding market development principles that will serve to facilitate the acceptance and proliferation of new & existing grid-interactive 'behind-the-meter' storage (BTMS) technologies.

The guiding principles of The Community Storage Initiative are as follows:

  1. Voluntary Participation (by the utility, home, business or individual)
  2. Education & Training (information resources, program templates, quick-start guides, etc.)
  3. Market Acceptance (locally, regionally and nationally)
  4. Economic Equity (shared investments/shared benefits, multi-sided win-win)
  5. Renewables Integration & Environmental Stewardship
  6. Community Vitality (Community is the key!)

What's in it for me and my organization?

As a supporter of The Community Storage Initiative, your organization will benefit both symbolically and substantively. Supporting The Community Storage Initiative and its guiding principles will position your organization as a leader in the emerging electric utility marketplace. By taking the next step and acting on the guiding principles by initiating, operating, promoting and sharing successful 'community storage' strategies, technologies and programs, you and your organization stand to benefit from the growth of the 'community storage' marketplace.

How do I get involved?

Add your contact information to our mailing list to receive more informaton as the Initiative grows.

For more information, contact: Keith Dennis (NRECA), or Steve Koep (PLMA) or Robin Roy (NRDC).