US Energy Storage Market Breaks Records in Third Quarter 2020: Report

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A new report has revealed that 476  megawatts (MW) of storage were  deployed in the US in the third quarter of 2020, an increase of  240 percent over the previous high, set last quarter. As noted in the latest ‘US Energy Storage Monitor’ by Wood Mackenzie and the US Energy Storage Association (ESA), this new record for storage  is  not an anomaly but rather a sign of things to come as front-of-the-meter  (FTM)  storage procurements, particularly in California, grow  dramatically  in number and size.

While the  residential segment grew  as well,  the major  growth  was in the FTM  market segment.  Nearly 400 MW and 578 MWh were deployed in Q3, surpassing previous records of 133 MW and 296 MWh  for this sector. More  FTM  storage was installed  in Q3  than  was installed across all segments during any other quarter over the past seven  years. 

“Enrgy storage deployments continue to grow, despite the economic downturn and COVID-related slowdowns,” said Kelly Speakes-Backman, US Energy Storage Association CEO. “The signs are pointing toward an unprecedented increase in energy storage in the coming months, moving us closer toward achieving our 100 GW by 2030 vision. With continued policy support and regulatory reform at the state and federal levels, energy storage is poised to continue this trajectory and enable a more resilient, efficient, sustainable, and affordable electric grid for all.”

“These eye-catching deployment totals represent only the beginning of a long-anticipated scale up for the US storage market. Massive price declines and efforts to ensure eligibility have set the stage for exponential growth, and the curtain has only just risen on Act One. Considering the scale of systems anticipated for 2021 we do not expect this record, as remarkable as it is, to stand for long,” added Dan Finn-Foley, Wood Mackenzie Head of Energy Storage.

The report details that the residential storage market has grown steadily for six quarters in a row, hitting 52 MW (119 MWh) in Q3 2020, with resilience as the key driver. 

“Although the residential storage market has hovered at around 7,000 deployments per quarter in 2020, the sector is now set to expand by 6x through 2025, with increasingly active markets in New York, Massachusetts, PJM, Texas and Florida, among other states.

“Potential upside from landmark FERC Order 2222 could start to become clear next year as market operators and utilities make plans for implementation. These decisions will impact where and how quickly storage companies will be able to center grid services and the wholesale market in their strategic growth,” said Chloe Holden, Wood Mackenzie Energy Storage Analyst.

Massachusetts continued its strong showing in the non-residential segment through its SMART program, topping Hawaii’s deployment totals to take second place in the segment. Non-residential deployment has slowed in recent quarters, adding around 30 MW each quarter of this year, in contrast with the segment’s 40+ MW quarterly highs in Q1 and Q4 of 2019. 

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