Developing a roadmap for largely unknown terrain is no easy task. It is one energy regulators and the grid operator are attempting to do for the emerging world of energy storage, considered essential to attaining a balanced and cost-effective grid fed by growing amounts of uneven flows of solar and wind power. During a day-long Sept. 4 meeting of the California Independent System Operator, California Energy Commission and California Public Utilities Commission, attended by well over 100 stakeholders, considerable consensus was reached on the first milestone: identifying key barriers to energy storage developers. \u201cIt is an emerging framework, and not just ISO products,\u201d said Heather Sanders, CAISO director of regulatory affairs. At the same time, there is unprecedented interest and money being directed at energy storage. Topping the list of barriers are high costs and uncertainty\u2014regulatory and financial. \u201cUnique performance characteristics of storage are not being fully valued by market operators,\u201d said Lorenzo Kristov, CAISO market & infrastructure policy group principal. He added that treating storage as \u201ctraditional technology undervalues unique capabilities offered.\u201d At issue is how to categorize various energy storage technologies, which will determine how developers are compensated. Is storage generation, transmission or something in between? The answer depends on the kind of storage, how much, and how long it is provided and where\u2014to the transmission or distribution system, or at a customer\u2019s premise. Also at issue is determining which agency has jurisdiction\u2014the grid operator or the CPUC. At the same time, a key issue for the grid operator and CPUC is what service or services are being provided. For example, is it providing ramping, ancillary services, voltage support, reactive services, spinning reserves, and\/or resource adequacy? \u201cAre the products and services serving the needs identified,\u201d which includes cost effectiveness, Sanders asked. Another major roadblock is the complex and costly interconnection process. \u201cLack of clarity and knowledge regarding the interconnection process among all participants, including utilities, creates uncertainty, delays, high risk and high costs,\u201d noted Tom Flynn, CAISO infrastructure policy development manager. Other major barriers to energy storage expansion include the lack of: \u2022\tLong-term utility contracts; \u2022\tStorage definitions; \u2022\tSafety and reliability standards; \u2022\tInstallation and interoperability standards; and \u2022\tLocal codes. Arthur O\u2019Donnell, CPUC senior regulatory analyst, pointed out that standards need to come from lawmakers in Sacramento. He warned of the long lag in the state legislative process. For example, it took photovoltaics being in the market for 25 years before legislation was passed requiring permit streamlining. A bill signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown earlier this month, AB 2188, seeks to eliminate the patchwork of rules and regulations on solar energy retrofits, which in turn is expected to lower installation cost. \u201cIt would have been nice to have it 15 years ago,\u201d O\u2019Donnell noted. A draft storage roadmap is scheduled to be released Oct. 2. A final blueprint that ranks the barriers and possible solutions is expected to be released at the end of the year.