Publication Date

Fall 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Studies


Dustin Mulvaney


California, Energy Arbitrage, Energy Storage, Energy Transition, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Renewable Energy

Subject Areas



This work examines the impact on greenhouse gas emissions of energy storage devices operating on the California electrical grid during the year 2019. As solar power gains a greater share in California’s energy production, tools for storing the intermittent energy produced from solar and other variable generation sources become important in continuing their growth. In this study, the impact of the deployment of energy storage capacity in California was determined using three charging and discharging strategies. The first, meeting peak net-demand with solar, looked at battery charging when solar production was highest and discharging when net-demand is highest. The second used an energy arbitrage strategy that responds to the average price of energy, maximizing profitability. The third strategy examined maximizing emissions reductions using Watttime’s marginal emissions factors (MEF). Each of these operation patterns use MEFs to determine their impact on greenhouse gas emissions and use average pricing data for all locational nodes in California to determine the profitability of operating with a 1MWh change in energy storage capacity. The results show that the deployment of Lithium-Ion batteries can result in a reduction in carbon emissions at a low cost, highlighting the importance of curtailment alleviation to beneficial energy storage device operation.