- The amount of energy storage capacity deployed in the U.S. annually is set to more than double next year, rising from 523 MW deployed in 2019 to 1,452 MW in 2020, before tripling to 3,646 MW in 2021, according to the latest U.S. Energy Storage Monitor from Wood Mackenzie and the Energy Storage Association.
- The exponential growth projection is driven in part by several in-development battery storage projects that are some of the largest ever proposed in the United States, such as PG&E’s 182 MW, 730 MWh Elkhorn Battery Storage project in northern California, which recently received local regulatory received local regulatory approval.
- The 186.4 MW of energy storage deployed in the fourth quarter of 2019 made it the biggest quarter for storage capacity ever, breaking the previous record by 17%, according to the WoodMac report.
In 2018, 311 MW of energy storage were deployed. Today there are several proposed individual battery storage projects that are each around the same size or larger than the entire amount deployed in 2018.
For example, Vistra Energy is building a 300-MW, 1,200-MWh battery project at the Moss Landing natural gas-fired plant, where PG&E’s Elkhorn project is also being built. When it announced the Moss Landing battery project in 2018, Vistra Energy said it expected commercial operation to begin in the fourth quarter of 2020, and a company spokeswoman told Utility Dive that is still the current schedule.
California is not the only place where massive battery projects are being built. Florida Power & Light’s 409-MW Manatee Energy Storage Center will be operational in 2021, the Bradenton, Fla., Herald recently reported.
“Accelerated growth [of storage capacity deployment] will occur in 2020 and 2021, driven by the first large-scale utility procurements coming online,” according to the WoodMac report.
Other large battery storage installations include the 100-MW Saticoy Battery Storage Project in Oxnard, Calif., which is expected to provide storage for Southern California Edison and is scheduled for December 2020.
Front-of-the-meter, utility-scale storage projects like these large projects are poised to become a much larger share of the overall storage market relative to behind-the-meter storage, WoodMac has previously said. Front-of-the-meter storage made up 103.8 of the 186.4 MW in the fourth quarter of 2019, representing 160% quarter-on-quarter growth.
“Supply constraints and delays in the [front-of-the-meter] market have moved some initial 2020 projects to 2021 or later,” the 4Q 2019 report said, but since those delays the scale of planned projects has surged. “Vertically integrated utilities nationwide are investing heavily, and wholesale market participation will open up new areas for growth.”