Energy Storage

Energy Storage Installations Break Records in Fourth Quarter

By Editors of Power Engineering

A staggering 230 MW/h of energy storage systems were installed in the last three months of 2016, more than the previous 12 quarters combined.

That strong finish put the total amount of energy storage systems installed in 2016 at 336 MW/h, or 100 percent over 2015 according to GTM Research and a report by the Energy Storage Association.

The U.S. energy storage market is now estimated to reach 7.3 GW in 2022, representing an investment of $3.3 billion.  

Ravi Manghani, GTM Research’s director of energy storage, said the huge amount of fourth-quarter installations was due to a burst of deployments with a very short development time.

And that burst could continue, thanks to California.

“California will play a significant role in the future as utilities there continue to contract energy storage under the state’s 1.3-gigawatt mandate,” he said. “While California took over the pole position in 2016 from PJM, the market shift was also transformational in terms of applications — from short-duration ancillary services to longer-duration capacity needs.”

Currently, 88 percent of all installed energy storage capacity in the fourth quarter was delivered within California.

Matt Roberts, executive director of the Energy Storage Association, said much of the development was done to address the gas leak at Aliso Canyon, as well as the development of new applications and business models.

“The energy storage industry is rapidly maturing, and in 2016 we saw that growth take hold in a significant way,” he said.

Utility-scale storage consisted of most of the deployed MW/h, though commercial and residential systems provided 25 percent of the total. Most of that was from commercial storage in California, though two-thirds of residential deployment were outside California and Hawaii.