US energy storage doubles in 2018

Published on December 11, 2018 by Chris Galford

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A new report from the Energy Storage Association (ESA) last week noted that the success of U.S. energy storage projects doubled throughout 2018, reaching 32.9 gigawatts (gw).

The report, the U.S. Energy Storage Monitor, builds on an earlier ESA proposal to reach 35 gw by 2025. If nearly 33 gw are already secure seven years from the deadline, it represents a bright potential future for the industry.

“We have proof of the industry’s commitment to realizing our collective vision, which is projected to bring with it the creation of more than 167,000 new jobs, reduced emissions, and $4 billion in cumulative operational cost savings, among other benefits,” Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO of ESA, said of the news.

Many of the new operations are coming from California, but markets have opened in Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, and Oklahoma, among others. More long duration projects are activating capacity and load-shifting services, according to the report, and the good news comes in spite of lowered deployments in both front-of-meter and behind-the-meter. Regardless, the United States deployed 136.3 megawatt-hours (Mwh) of storage in the third quarter — a gain of 44 Mwh over the same period in 2017.

“Developers in markets across the entire country are seeing the raw economic potential that energy storage can provide, and they’re trying to get their foot in the door in key interconnection territories prior to FERC Order 841 mandated changes going into effect,” Dan Finn-Foley, senior energy storage analyst with Wood Mackenzie, said. “Outside of the raw megawatt numbers, 2018 saw proposed projects or utility investment from Alabama to the Dakotas, from the Carolinas to Nevada, and everywhere in between.”