US energy storage market growth surges 45% in 2018: SEPA

The US energy storage market interconnected a total 760.3MWh last year, a 44.9% increase from 2017, with utility-supply the top market segment, according to a new report released by Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), a Washington, DC-based non-profit.

Utility-supply interconnections were 394.9MWh with the sector posting 11.3% year-on-year growth, followed by non-residential, 189.9MWh (34.9%), while residential surged to 175.5MWh (500.1%).

“Energy storage deployments are accelerating, driven by increasingly compelling economics, favourable state policies, and residential programmes in California, Hawaii and Vermont,” said Mac Keller, co-author of the report, 2019 Utility Energy Storage Market Snapshot.

He said the energy storage market is “primed for continued growth” as battery storage moves beyond traditional back-up generation to provide ancillary services, ramping, smoothing and peaking services.

At year-end 2018, the US had 1.97GWh of cumulative energy storage capacity. Lithium-Ion batteries were the dominant technology, accounting for roughly 90% of stationary storage due to a price decline of almost 73% since 2013, according to the report.

California last year led all states interconnecting the most energy storage, 146.9MW (275.6MWh), then Hawaii, 36.8MW (135.4MWh) and Texas, 33.4MW (59.5MWh).

Last year, investor-owned utilities (IOUs) deployed the most storage of any utility type (488.6MWh), or 64.3% of MWh interconnected to the grid; followed by electric cooperatives, (152MWh), and public power utilities, (119.7MWh).

Among utilities, Southern California Edison was the 2018 leader, interconnecting 154.3MWh, with Hawaii-based Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) in second spot.

Meanwhile, several utilities announced large energy storage projects including financially troubled Pacific Gas and Electric for the largest lithium-ion battery installation in the world to-date.

Florida Power and Light’s Manatee Energy Storage Center by 2021 will have a 409MW, 900MWh storage systems that will be powered by an existing solar facility. Portland General Electric in Washington State plans to build a facility consisting of 300MW of wind, 50MW of solar, paired with 30MW, 120MWh of energy storage also by 2021.

The authors compiled their report from data supplied from 211 electric utilities serving 56% of customers nationwide and SEPA’s trend analysis and market insights.

Leave a Reply